Regarding the bullpen, with Knebel done for the year, and Jeffress not healthy fans were calling for Kimbrel in 2 games The Crew brought in some new names in Alex Claudio and Alex Wilson, and we really don’t know their roles. Going into the Wilson acquisition, I figured he would be a spot guy/low tier guy, but I am already eating my words as he has a save on the books on a rest day from Hader.
Ok so what does all this mean? After watching the first week, I think there are some important take-aways for fans to expect to see this season.
1. Freddie Fastball gets better as the game goes on. This is no secret, the first inning issues, however it is worth noting his fastball speed as gone up throughout the game. In his gem of a start against the Reds, he went 8 deep striking out 11. But it is worth noting his fastball started out around 88-91 MPH, and he was gunning 95 in the 5th , all the way into the 8th inning. Now we can all draw our own conclusions here, is he not warming up enough? Not ready yet?Conditioning? But in my opinion, this will level out as he gets more starts, and he will get over those 1st inning jitters as he gains experience.
2. The Bullpen will be ok! Yes, we are missing some horses now, and one for the year, but Hader and gang is still one of the best pens in the league. I was ready to donate cash to bring someone in after two games, but that’s baseball, the sky is always falling. However, I truly believe we will be ok with what we have. Hader is going to be a legit Cy Young candidate again, and with Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra figuring out their roles as the season progresses, we should be just fine in those bridge innings from starters to Hader/ Jeffress.
3. Corbin Burnes is nasty. The movement on his slider should not be legal when throwing 95, the pitch will be a meme this year when it fools a guy to his knees. The way he can attack hitters with the action on his pitches is going to be fun to watch, and he does it with confidence. In his start against the Cards, he had a third strike called low, and when he threw it, he walked off the mound. Jose Martinez, the batter, proceeded to stare down the “young pitcher” as if to
“Son” him. Burnes proceed to throw him a third strike on a swing and a miss, and gave him a little fist pump after. To me, this is the confidence a championship caliber team has all year long. We need that swagger, and confidence that we will be there at the end, not that we hope to be there.
4. Chacin is Mr. Consistent. For the most part, Chacin has been a career middle of the rotation guy who will get you roughly 6 innings, and have a season ERA around 3.0 Now the Brewers are asking him to be a bit more than that at the front of the rotation, but his performance remains the same. Chacin is a great guy to have on the team, he doesn’t seem to show much emotion, he is always in control of his at-bats. I am looking forward to seeing what he can do this year, but it looks like CC is always going to know what he’s going to get with Chacin, which is a great feeling for a manager, and fans to have.
5. Everyone is in! Junior Guerra, and Chase Anderson couldn’t have been happy with being demoted to the pen, but both have taken on their new roles positively. Chase is still going to have his home run issues, but it is great to see those guys pitching. We all know injuries are going to happen, so having those guys down there and ready when they get the call is fantastic! We have bullpen guys blowing up social media for their teammates, we have Suter being the fantastic human that he is, and we have a group that is in it together. Now we just need to see if they can put it all together on the field the way it seems in the locker room. Who knows what will happen the rest of the way, especially with the Brewers being tied to Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel at one time. But what I can say is what we have currently is going to be fun to watch, and with Craig Counsell at the controls, we can all take a deep breath, the Brewers pitching staff going to be
Here is to an exciting season moving forward! Go Brewers!