Everyone is missing baseball right now, but could a shortened schedule actually help the 2020 Milwaukee Brewers make the playoffs?
Good news, Brewers fans! The team will take the field again at some point. When? Not soon. Will the season be shortened? Guaranteed! But there will be actual baseball played by the Milwaukee Brewers at some point…eventually.
Plans have been floated by the MLBPA and Major League owners to have some form of baseball possibly back as soon as the end of May, so it looks like there’s an eventual end in sight to shelter in place.
We may actually have professional sports back on the TV at some point, but if Major League baseball plays a shortened season, will it actually benefit the Milwaukee Brewers?
The starting pitching won’t look quite as weak
The Milwaukee Brewers don’t have a top tier starting rotation. They very likely have a bottom third rotation in all of Major League baseball. However, a shortened season could allow the Brewers to play match ups, work in bullpen games, and play right into manager Craig Counsell‘s hands.
If the schedule ends up at 100 games, the Milwaukee Brewers will run Brandon Woodruff out there for at least 20. After that? Any one of seven pitchers could end up starting. The team will be able to use Brent Suter against lineups that struggle with lefties. Freddy Peralta will pick up starts in spacious parks. Bullpen games will get used to keep tough offenses off balance.
A 100-game sprint is a lot different than a 162-game grind. Counsell can play match ups and mask the crumminess of his starting five a lot easier in fewer games.
Fewer injuries? Maybe?
Starting the season late means that everyone should start the year at as close to full health as possible.
Ryan Braun will get another few months to get his body into shape, and could work his way into a ‘lightning in a bottle’ season that’s only 100 games long. A later start could mean that Lorenzo Cain‘s legs stay fresher, and even Ryon Healy could work his way back to the picture of health.
Less wear on closer Josh Hader?
A shorter season means that Josh Hader won’t have to work 61 games and throw 80-plus innings again. Hader wasn’t quite the same at the end of the year last year, so fewer games should allow Hader to stay at his peak for the majority of the regular season.
It doesn’t feel like Spring without baseball. It feels like it’s been forever since the Brewers were playing games in Spring Training, but the fact that those in the know are talking about playing again at all indicates that we’re closer to the end of the current situation than the beginning. Even a shortened baseball season is still a baseball season, and it could actually benefit the Brewers in the long (short?) run.