Yovani Gallardo career up to this point has been unpredictable. Now a seasoned Brewer, Gallardo usually starts off Spring Training as the second fiddle to a supposed up-and-comer or free agent acquisition, eventually being handed the ball on opening day. Yovani has never proclaimed he is the ace of the Brewer staff, it just keeps happening by default.
Category Archives: Reviewing The Brew
Francisco Rodriguez was a pleasant surprise for Milwaukee Brewers in 2014. After being handed closing duties on opening day, Rodriguez not only held on and excelled as the Brewers’ fireman; he even made the All-Star team.
K-Rod is a free agent and an interesting case for Milwaukee. There are a lot of reasons to consider bringing him back, but also a few good ones to let him walk. Let’s review the year and take a look at the pros and cons of brining back Rodriguez.
STATS & GRADE
Position: Relief Pitcher
2014 Contract: 1 year, $3.25m
2015 Contract: Free Agent
No one knows what to say, usually, they say nothing after they hear my team is the Milwaukee Brewers. Sometimes a soft, “sorry”, but that’s really it. This is what it is like being a Brewer fan right now. This was not your typical season.
This one hurts so much more. This season was the worst case scenario.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL BREWER SEASON?
A. The Brewers come out of the gate strong for the first 50 games and then play average into the All-Star break, after they slowly drop off and begin building for next year.
B. Injuries decimate a typically not-very-deep baseball team, mathematically eliminated from playoffs by August.
C. It’s a rebuilding year, for small market teams, four out of every five seasons are deemed rebuilding years. (Note: Brewers are not spending small market money so this should not apply.)
WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED NOW?
The Brewers were division leaders through approximately 130 games and then all fell apart. Had the team literally quit and forfeited all remaining games the result would not had been different. I could have pitched every game and the result would have been the same. Essentially, the team went first to worst (figuratively speaking) in a matter of 20 games and then got worse…
Yes, did I mention the first 130 games? That was a lot of fun. Of course Jonathan Lucroy’s break-out year and a plethora of starting pitching was nice to see and should be part of the foundation going forward. Mike Fiers. That was amazing.
It started in March with a phone call. The voice on the other line sounded familiar, it sounded like another General Manager. That morning Melvin had been looking at predictions for his Milwaukee Brewers, most had them placing third or fourth in their division. It didn’t take a lot of convincing from the voice on the other side. Doug Melvin decided to make a deal with the devil for the 2014 season.
What the Brewers sent out is not clear, rumors allege Melvin gave up an All-Star thumb and five humans to be named later. However, details of what the Brewers received in the deal have emerged.
1. Lead the Central Division
2. Have more starting pitching than ever before. Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza, Wily Peralta and Marco Estrada would be the initial five, but Will Smith, Tyler Thornburg and Jimmy Nelson would also be in the mix.
The Brewers are still in first in what appears will be a three team race to the finish. Despite giving away a Dodger sweep the Brewers still took consecutive series from successful ball clubs; the types of series that need to be won if this team is going to make the postseason. No one player is leading the charge, each night someone else has been stepping up. Here’s the latest edition of my player power rankings.
1: Wily Peralta
First Brewer and National League pitcher to make it to 14 wins gives Peralta the coveted number one spot.
2: Jonathan Lucroy
The winner of the Jonathan Lucroy award (quietly doing his job well) goes to Jonathan Lucroy and his .308 batting average/12 home runs.
Honorable Mention: Scooter Gennett
It’s that time of the year, pending free agents in the headlines and talk of which teams are buyers or sellers; the trade deadline is approaching!
One of this year’s coveted assets is 2012 Cy Young Award winning pitcher, David Price.
What will it take for Tampa Bay to deal Price? Probably too much from a team like Milwaukee, but its fun to hope and hey, you never know, this is the same team (and ownership) that got CC Sabathia when many other teams were in pursuit.
For today let’s forget about what it would take; instead, here are four reasons the Brewers should consider trading for David Price.
1. PRICE BEATS CURRENT OPTIONS
Essentially, adding Price to the rotation removes home run king Marco Estrada and keeps Jimmy Nelson waiting in the weeds which appears to be the Brewers’ preference on dealing with Nelson this season. The starting rotation becomes Kyle Lohse, Yovani Gallardo, Matt Garza, Wily Peralta and David Price with Estrada providing depth in case of injury.
The 2014 season has been a nice surprise all around. The lineup was expected to hit for power, but the pitching has been key. So far the starters have been outstanding, one of the best rotations for Milwaukee in a long time. How good is this rotation? A fun comparison is to take the Brewers benchmark (1982) and see how they compare.
Like this season, in 1982 the Brewers went into the season as a known commodity at the plate. They weren’t given the nickname “Harvey’s Wallbangers” due to one-run games. If possible for a World Series pitching rotation to be underrated, the 192 staff may qualify. In 1982 the most used group was Pete Vuckovich, Mike Caldwell, Moose Haas, Bob McClure and Randy Lerch. Let’s compare to the 2014 rotation of Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza, Wily Peralta and Marco Estrada.
GO TO ACE
In 1982 there was no doubt who was getting the ball and that was Pete Vuckovich. The handle-barred Cy Young Award winner would win 75 percent of his starts, best in the major leagues. This year, Yovani Gallardo was sent out opening day and despite many great outings and an overall successful first half, he has shown inconsistency. At this point there is enough doubt to wonder whether Gallardo, Kyle Lohse or an improving Matt Garza is really the top pitcher needed for a win-or-go-home game.
Advantage: 1982 Brewers
In 1982, the rotation started most games with Jim Slaton, Jerry Augustine, Doc Medich and Don Sutton as fill-in starters (combined only started 26 games) and this season the Brewers five-man rotation have also taken the bulk of the starts. Having Jim Slaton and Don Sutton available is nice when making a run; however, the current trio of Jimmy Nelson, Will Smith and Tyler Thornburg have proved they are capable and ready should the need arise. It has been a long time (ever!?!) since the Brewers have had this many starting pitching options.
Advantage: 2014 Brewers