Remember this photo? This was taken earlier in April. What a difference a month makes. The Brewers will be lucky to finish the month with more than 5 wins. Yes you heard that right 5 wins!
They have officially hit rock bottom because they have been outplayed recently by the Twins and the money bloated payroll Dodgers who are just as bad as the Brewers. Right now we may be worse. It is hard to explain because the Brewers have the following all hitting in the top 20 in baseball:
The major issues which have pretty much have turned this into a retooling year has been:
1) Starting pitching: Has been horrendous. If you keep getting at or over 100 pitches in barely 5 innings, you will NOT will many ball games!
2) Timely hitting: It was there and carried them during the 9 game winning streak. Now, it rarely happens. If you are hitting great individually, it means nothing if you can’t get people over and across the plate. It seems like a batter always kills potential big innings and there has been very few times this month I can say someone is clutch.
3) Defense: It has been below average. Sometimes the box score does not truly tell you about how bad a team is defensively because you never see the what I call “errors” that don’t get registered on the scoreboard. That would be a misplay without touching the ball that leads to bad innings and high pitch counts.
2 weeks ago I wrote a memo to the manager about changes that needed to be made and let’s see how Ron Roenicke has done so far:
1) Give Rickie Weeks day(s) off.
Has this been done? Yes. I could care less that he makes $11 million this season and that we are benching a player like this. The fact that this man has constantly been trotted out may not be all of the Brewers issues however it is some of them. He can’t bat his weight this season!!! So then you bring up the argument that some everyday position players are batting worse than he is? B.J. Upton of the Braves comes to mind. He is currently batting .148.
You know my answer to that? I could care less. Braves are in 1st and the Brewers are in last!! The Braves have played much more fundamentally sound baseball that can mask a guy batting poor like Upton.
I have no confidence whatsoever that Weeks can get a key base hit in a situation where the team needs runs. He has even misplayed balls on the field that should be routine for a second baseman. Ron please do me and everyone in Brewers nation a favor and bench Weeks until further notice.
If he wants to see playing time on a regular basis? Pinch hit him like you did Memorial Day and force him to bat his way back into the lineup. Now that this team as of May 28th is 13.5 games out and another long losing streak (combined with a hot winning streak from the Cardinals) to being 20 out in early June, it makes even more sense to bench Weeks. It is not about winning ball games to compete right now. It is trying to put the team that plays good all around baseball. At some point I expect Roenicke to do this if he seat gets a little warm and there a rumors of him being let go. For now, stop cuddling him cause of his salary!
Note: As I write this Tuesday May 28th, Automatic out Weeks is back in the lineup. GRRRRR!!
2) Have a meeting with the pitching coach and the starters.
I hear there have been multiple meetings happening the last few weeks. The bullpen is pitching overall very well however that does not matter because no starter on this team seems like they can pitch past 5 innings.
This has been Gallardo’s issue throughout his career and now Wily Peralta and others have followed suit. If a starter gets to the 7th inning lately it is a minor miracle. The manager and starters are loss for words as to what is wrong which makes the situation even worse and more alarming.
Perhaps the starters are pressing too much. At this point you have nothing to lose. Just throw the ball over the plate and make other teams get hits to beat you. That is about all you can hope for the starters until Chris Narveson gets back. Peralta and Hiram Burgos (currently on the 15 day DL) do need to go back to AAA, but right now you don’t have any better options. Pitching wins ball games and this team has not had that since April 30th.
3) Move Carlos Gomez up in the lineup.
Gomez has been one of the brightest spots in this spiraling season. He is even to my surprise becoming more vocal about his frustration with losing. This man has matured before our eyes. He plays his rear end off and is doing everything he can to try to help this team win. I am glad Roenicke is rewarding him by putting him higher up in the lineup. With the recent minor injury to Braun’s thumb and the annoying knee issue with Aramis Ramirez, it has given Gomez chances to shine and he has come through. Keep an eye out. In a team where it looks like nobody wants to lead and the team is searching for leaders, we may be seeing the future leader of this team.
4) Leave Jean Segura as the #2 hitter.
Unfortunately this is one situation where Weeks laid out a white table cloth and set the china for this to happen. Segura is the real deal and I am impressed that this looks like how he will play in the future. Brewers fans and baseball fans, please, please, please vote for him to make the All-Star game!! He has more than earned it and he and Gomez are some building blocks to patch this team together along with Braun for the future.
Please check out this article on both of them. So glad they are getting the press they deserve. We have been searching for our shortstop of the future and we now have him. In terms of defense you can’t be good unless you have great defense at short and center and we have quality at both.
And here is my last thought. The Brewers have not been this bad since 2006. As fans of this team, it is time to not worry about wins and losses and just hope that they team plays better all around baseball. Not every team is going to be good year in and year out. As bad as the situation is here, would you want to be the Dodgers and Blue Jays right now that some were predicting to be competing for a World Series? That is quite a bit of bloated payroll that might set them back for years if they don’t make the playoffs.
If the Brewers get worse in the next month or so, we can start conversing about what pieces we can trade and who we can give chances to compete for this team next year.
Please also read this article by Michael Hunt. While we have gloomy clouds right now, over Miller Park, we still have talent in the minors that will help us be competitive for the future. Hunter Morris and Scooter Gennett will be on the right side of the infield before you know it.
Also, if you are a huge baseball fan like I am, start checking out some of the other teams in baseball. There are some good stories coming together like the resurgent Indians,the fellow exciting small market Athletics (who we will see in Milwaukee next week), and first place clutch Braves to name a few.