Brewers Rotation Is Set & Brings Mixed Feelings
Milwaukee Brewers are set to play their first game in Miller Park tonight. There’s a great unknown yet again about this team. People think they could be very fun with a bunch of big hitters on the team. The problem lies within the pitching staff. Milwaukee will trot out quite the starting five to start the season. There’s much in there that would inspire you to think this team will contend for a playoff spot. They have no real ace, nor a second pitcher. On top of that, the bullpen is almost brand new from last year. What if the rotation is good? Let’s explore the starting rotation.
Junior Guerra – Everyone and their mother is expecting a regression type year from Guerra. It’s really hard to believe he could match what he did last season for the team. Guerra had a rough Spring Training, but that shouldn’t play into our thinking around him. ZIPs feels okay about the veteran journeyman but highlights he only projects for the fifth-best pitcher on the team according to WAR.
Zach Davies – He’s one of the young potential stars of this team. Davies’ control is bananas, and he continues to get better on the mound. He’s the one guy (unless Wily Peralta is cooking) on this rotation that I’m making a point of to see pitch in person and on TV. He’s so fun. Obviously, Davies isn’t Greg Maddux, but you would watch Maddux for his control which is exactly why you watch Davies. He projects very well this season.
Wily Peralta – What Wily are we going to see? The one who lit up Spring Training looking like the Peralta of old, or the ZIPs projection that has him as the 11th-best pitcher on this team? I’m not sure. Peralta knows he could be trade bait for this team with Josh Hader and Brandon Woodruff ready to roll, which might inspire some big things from Peralta at the early part of the season.
Matt Garza/Chase Anderson – Let’s put both in this bucket. Garza is going on the Disabled List to start the year with a bad groin pull. He rated as the 21st-best pitcher according to ZIPs. 21st! He’s fucking bad. Garza, like Peralta, will hope to have a big start to the year in order to get traded. Chase Anderson doesn’t fare much better from a projections standpoint. The guy gave up homers like batting practice, and there’s nothing to say this year, it will be different.
Jimmy Nelson – He’s the most interesting guy of the five. Many would have thought a few years ago that Nelson would be grabbing the ball as the Opening Day starter. That didn’t happen. Instead, he will be the fifth starter with some good pressure on him. He projects to be a back-end starter, but a part of me thinks he could be better than that. Nelson talked about how he regained his changeup. If one guy surprises you this season, it could be Nelson.
Prospects – At some point this season, we’ll have Happy Josh Hader Day, and it will be magical. I’m sure there’s an arbitration reason he’s not up in the big leagues right now because he can help this rotation. Same goes for Brandon Woodruff who seems ready to roll as well. This is good reading material on Hader if you want to walk around with a baseball boner all day.
We’ll see how many angry tweets I can make at this rotation by the end of next week.