It’s been awhile since I wrote about my beloved Brewers. Last time I was in a much more positive mood about things. Today, that is not going to be the case. The Brewers have not been good, and I am very worried.
Going into the All-Star break, the Brewers sit a half game back of first in the NL Central. The bad news? They are four games away from last place in the NL Central as well. The NL Central is one of the most interesting divisions in baseball right now because of how tight the race is. This was to be foreseen, as each team in the division got better over the offseason (besides Chicago).
You might be asking; “Why are you so concerned? The Brewers went on a 7 game skid going into last years’ All-Star break!” To that I’d say, going into last years’ break the Brewers were 55-43 with a +49 run differential (very solid). This year? Milwaukee is 47-44 with a -17 run differential. The last place Reds have a higher run differential at +27.
At the 91 game mark (current amount of games played for the Brewers) the Brewers have allowed 109 more runs than they did last year (340 in 2018, 449 in 2019). Their 449 runs allowed is 4th worst in the National League. Their team ERA of 4.61 is 5th worst in the NL and their pitchers have combined a FIP of 4.35 which is less than ideal. The pitching has been the biggest concern among fans since the start of the year and hasn’t shown many signs of improvement.
Despite disappointing seasons so far, I still have hope Freddy Peralta and Corbin Burnes will churn out good MLB careers. Their strikeout rates are incredible and there is no doubt that the stuff is there. I believe they will piece their game together soon, but they are not great options like we hoped they’d be.
I know this is with benefit of hindsight. However, it makes me really mad that the Brewers couldn’t pony up $4.5 million for one year to bring back Wade Miley. He was brilliant for the Brewers last year and wouldn’t have crippled the team financially for this season. Miley has been spectacular for the Astros.
A few bright spots in the Brewers rotation exist. Josh Hader is repeating his dominance from last year and Brandon Woodruff has emerged into an All-Star (man, was I right about him). Woodruff ranks 4th in FIP (2.91), 6th in K/9 (10.5), and 7th in strikeouts (126). Zach Davies has also returned to his 2016/2017 form and has posted a 3.07 ERA in 96.2 innings of work.
The Brewers offense cannot be questioned, it is one of the most dangerous in the NL. I don’t think the pitching will be able to propel the Brewers to the playoffs in its current state. A move or two is going to need to be made in order for the Brewers to return to the post season.
Matt Boyd from Detroit is a really intriguing option. He is setting career highs across the board and has a few years of club control. That would be a guy I would target if I were GM.