The Brewers’ quest for the Cactus Cup is still going strong.
They ended the second week 3-2-1, and kept the offense coming. It is Spring Training, but the Brewers appear to be firing on all cylinders, they have a +16 run differential in 13 games (the Brewers had a -17 run differential in 60 games last season). That differential does include the 9-1 loss to Oakland.
As we get closer and closer to the start of the season let’s look at the studs and duds of the second week.
Stud: Garrett Mitchell
2020-First Round Draft pick Garrett Mitchell has done nothing but rake in his time at Big-League camp, making him an easy inclusion on the studs list.
Mitchell is not likely to appear in Milwaukee this year, but he appears to be on the fast track to anchoring the outfield alongside Christian Yelich. Mitchell has impressed everyone from Andy Haines, to Drew Rasmussen, who provided great analysis to Sophia Minnaert noting Mitchell “barrels everything“.
The Brewers were fortunate to draft Mitchell at 20 overall, and his first Spring Training shows the pure talent he has, and the bright future he has ahead.
The injury bug has hit the Brewers hard. Lorenzo Cain is yet to appear in a game after batting a quad injury. Luis Urias missed time with a hamstring injury, and is back in action on Sunday.
The Brewers’ list of players battling injuries keeps getting longer and longer.
Tim Lopes, Mark Mathias, Dylan File, Ray Black, Thomas Jankins, Zack Brown are all battling injuries, and Devin Williams still is yet to appear in a game. Jacob Nottingham is yet to return fully to catching activities, but is starting to appear as a DH in games.
The Brewers have been hit with a wave of minor injuries this past week.
The odd season last year, and many players not having the Minor League season has caused complications and has led to much more cautious ramp ups with pitchers, but that has not been foolproof, as everyday it seems more and more reports come out of a new pitcher battling some ailment.
Fortunately for the Brewers, they have built this team for depth, which will benefit them as various bumps, bruises, and blisters arise throughout the season.
Stud: Freddy Peralta
This week Craig Counsell announced Freddy Peralta was in contention for a starting spot. David Stearns also stated the Brewers are looking at using a 6-man rotation throughout parts of the season, and that makes sense. Going from 60 games to 162 is going to cause a big strain on pitchers.
Fastball Freddy is still developing and dominating the Cactus League so far.
Freddy Peralta will get starts this season, and he has looked dominant this week. He struck out 7 in 2 2/3 innings against the Royals, 10 strikeouts total in his 3 2/3 innings, which is nearly 25 K/9. Peralta has massive potential, and he appears primed to be a massively important pitcher for the Brewers.
This could finally be the season that Freddy Peralta establishes himself as a legitimate starter, but if not, expect Peralta to come out of the bullpen early in games, and be a dominant multi-inning reliever.
Dud: Easy Roster Decisions
The players the Brewers have in camp are impressive. The Front Office has their work cut out for them in deciding who will make the final roster.
Travis Shaw has an opt-out on Monday, and he appears to be in a good position to make the team. Players such as Brad Boxberger, Daniel Robertson and Pablo Reyes have been studs in their own right in camp, and Aaron Ashby is still hanging around camp, after being dominant this week, and making frequent appearances on @PitchingNinja‘s timeline.
The Brewers’ depth amassed under David Stearns has made final roster decisions difficult.
The Brewers have prided themselves on depth, and while that helps with injuries, that does make the final decisions difficult. Just because a player isn’t on the Opening Day roster doesn’t mean they won’t make an impact with the team this season.
Opening Day can’t come soon enough. Fortunately for Milwaukee, there are plenty of studs around camp, and few duds.