Brewers Projected Starting Rotation After Corbin Burnes Trade Is An Absolute Dumpster Fire

The Brewers rotation picture is very, very ugly right now
Wild Card Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers - Game One
Wild Card Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers - Game One / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Pitching and defense. Those were the strengths of the 2023 Brewers, the strengths that rode them to an NL Central title they won by nine games. That will not be the same story in 2024 as one of the pillars of this team's success, the starting rotation, has crumbled.

Late Thursday night, the Brewers traded Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes to the Baltimore Orioles. A move that many had speculated for a while, but as the offseason drew on felt unlikely, had finally come to fruition.

Now the Brewers starting rotation will have a completely different look and feel in 2024 than it did in 2023.

What does the Brewers starting rotation look like now after the Corbin Burnes trade?

Here's the projected starting five in the Brewers 2024 rotation.

1. RHP Freddy Peralta
2. LHP Wade Miley
3. RHP Colin Rea
4. RHP Joe Ross
5. LHP DL Hall

Yikes. Talk about a far cry from last year's starting rotation that included Burnes and Brandon Woodruff, plus Adrian Houser. All three of those longtime key starting pitchers are now gone. In to replace them are Colin Rea, Joe Ross, and DL Hall.

Freddy Peralta is now clearly the favorite to be the Crew's Opening Day starter and he's the team's best starting pitcher. He shows flashes of ace level stuff, but is generally considered a No. 2 starter at best and he occasionally pitches like a No. 4 starter.

The timeless Wade Miley staved off retirement for another season, coming back for his age-37 season. He was a valued starter last year and pitched well when healthy, but minor injuries keep popping up and it will be difficult for the Brewers to be relying on him as the second-best starter in the rotation.

Colin Rea is the Crew's third-best starter. A few months ago, Freddy Peralta was the third best starter on this team. Now it's Rea, the journeyman spent several seasons overseas and pitched to a 4.55 ERA last year in 124.2 IP. Rea filled in admirably but now he'll be counted on as a major piece of this rotation.

Joe Ross hasn't pitched in the big leagues for two seasons and he's penciled in as the Crew's 4th starter. He's the only veteran external addition the Brewers made to their pitching staff in free agency. Who knows what can be expected from him after missing so much time with injury and even before his injury, he hadn't posted a sub-4.00 ERA since 2016.

The Brewers believe DL Hall can be a starting pitcher, which is why they acquired him in the Burnes trade. The Orioles never gave him that chance, despite their rotation having openings, but perhaps the Brewers can turn him into one with the help of their pitching lab. Hall has just 33 IP of big league experience, and with young pitchers the development usually has bumps in the road.

Behind this projected top five is a cast of unproven young talent, including Robert Gasser, Carlos Rodriguez, Jacob Misiorowski, Janson Junk, and Aaron Ashby. Ashby is coming off shoulder surgery and is a major question mark, Junk hasn't shown much, and the others are top prospects that the Brewers are putting themselves in a position to rely on a ton to succeed right away in 2024.

The rotation was the pillar of strength for the Brewers for many years, but not anymore. This current starting rotation is a complete dumpster fire that should have fans concerned. If these young arms develop and develop quickly, perhaps it could be re-made into a strength again. But for now, the rotation is Milwaukee's biggest liability.