Brewers Shifting Pitching Rotation is a Curious Move
Milwaukee Brewers announced this morning that they are making a change in their starting rotation. It’s not like anyone is getting removed from the rotation, rather, they’re moving Jhoulys Chacin ahead to pitch Sunday versus St. Louis while Chase Anderson will go on Monday at Miller Park. This is a somewhat curious decision by Craig Counsell. He could be resetting the rotation to be prepared for the return of Zach Davies who could be back in the rotation by Wednesday. Still, the numbers show that this could be a bad idea.
Let’s start with Chacin on Sunday. He’s been Milwaukee’s best pitcher. This is Milwaukee’s biggest series to date against St. Louis with the Cardinals knocking at the door of the Wild Card. One problem that Chacin has had through his career is he cannot seem to figure out the St. Louis Cardinals’ bats. In what has been a great 2018, Chacin’s numbers versus St. Louis have been dreadful. He pitched 14.2 innings in three starts allowing 14 earned runs, walking 10 batters and only striking out 11. One of those starts came at Busch Stadium early this season. Add to the fact that Chacin has been a better home starter when Anderson has been much better on the road, this gets even more confusing.
Anderson is struggling as of late. It might do him some good to face a light-hitting Cincinnati team versus St. Louis, one of the hottest teams in the National League. In the month of August, St. Louis ranks second in the NL with runs scored, fourth in home runs, first in slugging, OPS, OBP and average. That might be a bad recipe for Anderson and might make more sense for him to face Cincinnati. Even though Chase’s road splits are great, Cincinnati makes more sense for him. The Reds are 13th out of 15 in runs scored, they’re 12th in home runs, 11th in OBP. Add that Cincinnati ranks third in strikeouts for the month of August, all signs point to Chase potentially having a bounce back start.
Looking at the August numbers, I’m starting to realize how hard this series against St. Louis will be for the Brewers. They’re going to be have to play nearly perfect to win the series.