Brewers Midseason Grades: The Pitchers


Earlier this week, I took a look at grades for each of the Brewers’ position players thus far in the season. Now, it’s the pitchers’ turn. They have received a lot of flak over the last few months for their performance, with many fans pegging them as inadequate for a team with playoff aspirations. Currently ranked 17th in MLB in ERA and 13th in WAR, the staff has been serviceable, but nothing special. Let’s take a took at their individual performances and their contributions to the Brewers’ 2019 success.

The Pitchers

Chase Anderson (57.0 IP, 4.42 ERA, 0.7 WAR) – This analysis rings true for many Brewers’ pitchers, but Anderson started strong and tailed off as of late before a strong showing in his last start. Of all the Brewers’ starters, he struggles most going through the opponent’s order for a third time, limiting his effectiveness as a starting option. Grade: C

Matt Albers (35.1 IP, 3.57 ERA, 0.4 WAR) – Despite not being too popular with fans after his 2018 collapse, Albers has quietly put together a solid season out of the Brewers’ bullpen. He’s more often than not gotten the job done. Grade: B

Jacob Barnes (19.2 IP, 6.86 ERA, -0.1 WAR) – Despite having good velocity, he has not been able to put it together as a late-inning option. Grade: F

Corbin Burnes (42.2 IP, 8.44 ERA, -0.3 WAR) – After a tremendous season out of the bullpen in 2018, Burnes transition into the rotation went less than smoothly, and his reintroduction to the bullpen has brought many of the same issues. He currently is not capable of being trusted pitching high-leverage innings. Grade: F

Jhoulys Chacin (72.1 IP. 5.60 ERA, 0.0 WAR) – The Brewers’ 2018 ace has not experienced the same success in 2019. He is allowing many more home runs and has seen a large drop in his groundball rate. Grade: D+

Alex Claudio (35.1 IP, 4.33 ERA, -0.3 WAR) – Acquired to be a lockdown option at the back of the Brewers’ bullpen, he has had a rocky season up to this point, mixing wholly ineffective outings with effective ones. His WAR takes a hit due to his low strikeout rate, but his ERA is actually better than the league-average reliever. Grade: D+

Zach Davies (91.2 IP, 3.24 ERA, 1.0 WAR) – After a rough 2018, Davies bounced back to start the year and has been a cog in the Brewers’ rotation. His performance going forward will be a large determinant of the Brewers’ success as a team. Grade: B+

Gio Gonzalez (31.0 IP, 3.19 ERA, 0.8 WAR) – Prior to his injury, Gonzalez provided much needed rotation help after being signed as a free agent. He slots in as the Crew’s #2 starter when healthy. Grade: B+

Junior Guerra (42.2 IP, 3.80 ERA, 0.3 WAR) – The results for Guerra in his first season as a full-time reliever have been solid. The Brewers have relied heavily upon him in high-leverage situations. Grade: B

Josh Hader (41.2 IP, 2.16 ERA, 1.8 WAR) – Hader has been his usual dominant self as he’s taken the reins of the closer role in 2019. He is striking out more than half of the batters he faces. Grade: A

Adrian Houser (38.2 IP, 3.26 ERA, 0.4 WAR) – Houser has been phenomenal as a reliever and subpar as a starter – his ERA in relief appearances is 1.05 in 25.2 innings. He is looking like a legitimate high leverage bullpen arm, and if he does not stick in the rotation he could fill the fireman role that Josh Hader performed in last season. Grade: B+

Jeremy Jeffress (32.1 IP, 4.18 ERA, 0.4 WAR) – After an otherworldly 2018, Jeffress has come back to earth this season. He is striking out fewer hitters and inducing groundballs at a much lower rate. Grade: C+

Jimmy Nelson (14.0 IP, 8.36 ERA, -0.1 WAR) – The results post-injury rehab have not been pretty for Jimmy, which is surely not a testament to the countless hours of training and treatment he put in to get himself back on a major-league mound. Hopefully he finds it in the second-half. Grade: F

Freddy Peralta (58.0 IP, 5.12 ERA, 0.8 WAR) – As his WAR suggests, Freddy has been much better than his high ERA indicates. While inconsistent while switching back and forth between starting and relieving, he’s shown that his ceiling is still sky high. Grade: C+

Brandon Woodruff (102.0 IP, 3.79 ERA, 2.8 WAR) – It looks like the Brewers may finally have found their ace with Woodruff. He currently ranks fifth in WAR among starting pitchers in the National League, and has led the Brewers rotation through its struggles. Grade: A

And we couldn’t forget Milwaukee’s (now-former) shutdown reliever…

Hernan Perez (2.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.0 WAR) – His efforts provided some much needed comedic relief during two blowouts the Brewers were on the wrong end of. Grade: A for effort


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