46.2 F
Milwaukee
Tuesday, October 22nd 2019
Home Brewers

Brewers

CCC covering the Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers won’t give up on Josh Hader

Let’s get one thing clear, Josh Hader has the potential to be one of the greatest pitchers in Brewer franchise history. Without Josh Hader, the Brewers would not have been close to being in the playoffs in 2018 or 2019. People seem to forget that Hader is only 25-years-old and with young pitchers comes learning curves. 

The reason I am writing this article is because of the unnecessary hate Josh Hader has been getting for his blown save in the NL Wild Card game. I’ve read things on social media like, “Hader can get the hell out of Milwaukee” and “I hope the Brewers trade Hader. He’s worthless.” These are the same fans who roasted Jeremy Jeffress for what he did in the 2018 Postseason without remembering he was the main reason they were in that position in the first place.

Now I’m on the side where I believe Counsell should have started Drew Pomeranz in the eighth and saw how it went before bringing in Hader but that’s not what happened and no amount of complaining will change that. For fans to see what Hader did and call for his head, that’s irrational. 

Statistically, Counsell made the correct decision bringing Hader in to pitch the eighth in the biggest game of the season. During the regular season, Hader pitched 2 or more innings in a game 14 times and only gave up a combined 3 earned runs. Also, when Hader was in the 2-out bases loaded jam with left-handed, Juan Soto, at the plate, Counsell had the lefty on lefty matchup that any manager would want. Soto ended up rocking a single which was a statistical anomaly in its own right. Josh Hader faced 66 left handed batter during the season and only gave up a single to ONE of them until Juan Soto delivered for the Nationals. If you’re looking at the numbers objectively, Counsell made the correct move by pitching Hader and leaving him in. Josh Hader was the best pitcher on the Brewers during the 2019 season and I’m okay living or dying with him. 

I know a lot of people have issues with Josh Hader’s blown save numbers, but that’s a problem every fan base has. For example, Josh Hader has had 13 blown saves in his first 3 seasons in the big leagues. To put that number in perspective, Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer of all-time, had 17 blown saves in his first three seasons as a full-time reliever. Francisco Rodriguez had 16, Lee Smith had 14, and Trevor Hoffman tied Josh Hader in blown saves after his first three years with 13. It just goes to show that even the greatest closers the game has ever seen have taken a few years to really become dominant. 

Also, it’s not like Hader hadn’t improved in 2019 after his unreal 2018 season. His 2019 numbers were very similar except his SO9 went up and his WHIP went down. He only had 2 more blown saves in 2019 on far more save opportunities. When it comes to the rest of the league in 2019, Josh Hader tied New York’s, Aroldis Chapman, for 3rd in the entire league in saves only behind Roberto Osuna and Kirby Yates. 

When it comes to the MLB’s closers, Josh Hader is already one of the best. A few bad outings, even though they were huge games, shouldn’t be the end all be all for his time in Milwaukee as the closer. I can think of 29 other teams who would be more than happy to take him off our hands which means it would be idiotic to get rid of him. Brewer fans will need to move on from the Wild Card game and let Hader develop into the lights out closer he’s going to be whether that comes with growing pains or not. 

5 Things the Brewers Must Do This Offseason

     It was another successful season for Milwaukee Brewers baseball, even if it ended with heartbreak. The team showed resiliency and fight throughout the entire 162-game schedule. If the team takes each of these five steps, they will be set up for another pennant run in 2020 and beyond.

  1.       Re-Sign Yasmani Grandal

In his first season as a Brewer, Yasmani Grandal had a profound offensive impact at the catcher position that Milwaukee has not had since Jonathan Lucroy. He set franchise records for home runs as a catcher (28) and walks (109). Aside from his prowess at the plate, Grandal proved to be a solid game-manager and pitch-framer. He has a $16M mutual option with Milwaukee for the 2020 season and it is likely that the two sides will be able to come to terms on a deal that would keep Yaz a Brewer for at least another few years.

 

  1.       Develop Josh Hader’s Pitch Arsenal

2019 Josh Hader, though dominant at times, was exposed for his lack of a second reliable pitch on too many occasions, with the most crucial instance being in the Wild Card Game where his lack of command was the Brewers’ downfall in a previously well-executed team performance. His heater can be one of the most unhittable pitches in all of baseball, but it becomes predictable without the presence of a slider to pair with it. Milwaukee’s coaching staff will need to come up with a game plan that will develop Hader’s slider as an effective secondary threat to his fastball, which will reduce the number blown saves (7 in 2019) and longballs he gives up (15 in 2019) for the future. He is still just 25 years old, so there is ample reason to believe he will adapt and re-discover his dominance.

 

  1.       Determine the Future of Jimmy Nelson & Travis Shaw

If you watched Brewers baseball at all in 2019, you would have noticed the absence of any sort of production from Travis Shaw. Shaw, who was a vital piece of both the 2017 and 2018 Brewers simply could not find consistency at the plate this season, (.157 BA, 7HR) and the reason is unknown to himself and all others associated with the team. Decisions will have to be made as to whether a season as dismal as this one warrants a second chance.

As for Jimmy Nelson, unfortunately he has failed to re-gain his status as an all-star caliber starting pitcher ever since his shoulder injury in 2017. He could perhaps provide value as a relief pitcher if the Milwaukee front office decides he is worth the gamble based on his past performance. Given how classy and resilient Jimmy has been throughout his arduous rehab process, it is likely he will continue to be a part of the team in some capacity.

 

  1.       Bring back Jordan Lyles

Jordan Lyles was sensational in his time with Milwaukee in 2019 and was a huge part of why they were able to crawl out of third place and make the postseason. He went 7-1 with a 2.35 ERA in 11 starts for the Crew. Given the uncertainty that still surrounds the starting staff, bringing back Lyles as a steady, trustworthy presence every fifth day would do wonders for the team. Offering him a short-term deal would be a smart play for GM David Stearns.

  1.       Ensure the Full Recovery of Injured Players

Milwaukee was a banged-up team in 2019. Corey Knebel’s season ended before it began due to Tommy John surgery, and along the way the team dealt with injuries to key players, Zach Davies, Brandon Woodruff, Lorenzo Cain, and of course, the MVP Christian Yelich. Making sure each of these players is 100% healthy heading into the 2020 season will go a long way in the team’s quest to make the leap they want to make- to become a true World Series caliber team.

 

 

 

 

September is the Brewers’ friend

There’s something about late-season baseball that makes Milwaukee turn the tide

By Tyler Job

There’s been a trend in recent years when it comes to the Milwaukee Brewers: they become one of baseball’s best teams when the calendar hits September.

It started even before the Brewers won their second National League Central division title in 2018. In 2017, Milwaukee was still considered a rebuilding team and hardly anyone anticipated the team to be in the playoff race.

Yet the Brewers stayed in the hunt all season long. They were eliminated from playoff contention on the second last day of the season by the St. Louis Cardinals in heartbreaking fashion, 7-6. Milwaukee finished just one game back of the second wild card spot to the Colorado Rockies.

Things changed once 2018 hit. The Brewers made headlines in January when they traded for Christian Yelich and signed Lorenzo Cain to a five-year deal, almost instantly making them a better team than the year prior.

The Brewers stayed in the division race the entire season, but found themselves trailing the Chicago Cubs by five and a half games after September 1.

Some thought getting a division title was over, but the Brew Crew ensured to not make that a reality.

Milwaukee went 19-6 the rest of the month, including ending September on a seven-game winning streak. The Brewers’ pitching was not great during their winning streak either (they allowed four or more runs in five of the seven games), but Yelich proved to be an unstoppable force by hitting five homers in their last seven games.

Yelich’s MVP-like hitting carried the Brewers all the way to a tiebreaker game for the division title against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, and as most recall, Milwaukee took care of business and claimed the NL Central crown for the second time in franchise history. As a treat, the Brewers earned themselves the number one seed in the NL.

Expectations ran rampant among the Milwaukee faithful before the 2019 campaign started. David Stearns kept most of the 2018 roster intact and added power-hitting catcher Yasmani Grandal to a one-year deal. Grandal spent four seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to joining the Brewers.

Despite retaining the majority of the roster, the Brewers treaded water from the beginning of the season until the end of August. Milwaukee was 69-66 and did not hold a wild card spot at the time.

A lot of the team’s issues had to do with its pitching leading up to September. Jhoulys Chacin, who was the opening day starter and Brewers ace the year prior, fell off a cliff and eventually got designated for assignment. Chacin was 3-10 with a 5.79 earned run average. Jeremy Jeffress, the former all-star closer, never got it going and ultimately got released. He had a 5.02 ERA at the time of his release. Josh Hader was struggling by giving up career highs in homers.

The Brewers lost big-time to the Cubs at Miller Park, 10-5, Sept. 5 and fell five games back of the second wild card spot to Chicago.

The feeling was bitter. The mood was somber. Nothing seemed to just be clicking properly.

But suddenly, the Brewers took all of their issues, curled them up into a ball, threw it out the window, and hit the largest reset button they have ever encountered.

Following their 10-5 loss to Chicago, the Crew went on a seven-game winning streak, winning three out of four against the Cubs and sweeping the Miami Marlins on the road.

But then, trouble ensued in the clubhouse during the Miami road trip when Yelich hit a foul ball that bounced perfectly off his right knee cap. The impact instantly fractured his kneecap, and Milwaukee lost its MVP. Fortunately for the Brewers, they kept winning.

Milwaukee struck a barrier in St. Louis, dropping its first game 10-0. But the team rallied to win the last two games of the series and keep its playoff hopes alive. Ryan Braun showed his vintage self in the final game against the Cards by striking a grand slam on a 3-2 pitch in the ninth inning to give the Brewers the lead.

The Cubs collapsed, while the Brewers kept steaming along. The Crew won eight of nine games following their series against the Cardinals and clinched a playoff spot against the Cincinnati Reds by winning 9-2 Sept. 25. Braun started the scoring that game with a grand slam in the first inning and Milwaukee never looked back. His grand slam was the moment that defined this unbelievable run.

After struggling all season long, Milwaukee’s team ERA up to clinching a playoff spot was a league-best 2.77. Stearns’ decisions calling up Adrian Houser and trading for Jordan Lyles made a big difference to the team’s overall pitching. It helped the Brewers go the postseason in back-to-back years since 1981-82. Pitching matters.

The Brewers were almost able to at least force a tiebreaker game for the division, but ended the season just one game back of the Cardinals in the NL Central. Milwaukee ended the season with a 90-72 record, giving the team its eighth 90-win season in franchise history.

Whatever the postseason result may be, remember the Crew conquered the ultimate underdog story. They went from a mediocre team to a playoff team within the span of three weeks. It’s a feat that is very rarely accomplished in baseball, and one of the greatest underdog stories in Wisconsin sports history.

On to October.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Predicting the Brewers’ Potential Wild Card Game Lineup

On September 10th, the Milwaukee Brewers’ alpha-dog, MVP right-fielder Christian Yelich fouled an inside fastball off his kneecap, fracturing his knee and fracturing the team’s playoff hopes at the time as well.

 

Since then, the team has gone 13-2 and has not only caught up to the Chicago Cubs, but has surpassed them by six games and is now only one game back of the Nationals for the top wild-card spot.

Milwaukee has, as of Wednesday, clinched a postseason berth for the second consecutive season. While the Crew is still alive in the NL Central race (1GB of STL) the most likely scenario will be that they play in the wild card game, so let’s theorize how Craig Counsell and his staff will approach this do-or-die situation.

 

Since the Nationals would almost certainly give Max Scherzer the ball in this game, Craig Counsell needs to construct a lineup that poses the biggest threat to one of the best pitchers in the game today. My prediction is this:

 

  1. Trent Grisham, RF
  2. Yasmani Grandal, C
  3. Mike Moustakas, 3B
  4. Ryan Braun, LF
  5. Eric Thames, 1B
  6. Lorenzo Cain, CF
  7. Cory Spangenberg, 2B
  8. Orlando Arcia, SS
  9. Brandon Woodruff, P

 

This is a lineup somewhat heavy on left-handed hitters, with  5 out of the 8 position players batting lefty, which is a matchup-friendly approach against the right-handed Scherzer. Look for Eric Thames to have a solid performance due to his relative career success against Max Scherzer, with a lifetime .333 average and multiple extra-base hits against the future hall-of-famer.

 

It might come as a surprise to some to see Cory Spangenberg, who spent most of the season in Triple-A getting the start, but the reason I predict this will happen is because of Keston Hiura’s general defensive struggles and putting the left-handed Cory Spangenberg in the starting lineup gives Counsell a potent right-handed bat to use in a pinch-hit setting in Hiura.

 

I predict Brandon Woodruff will start this game due to his recent success acting as an “initial out-getter” since coming back from injury. Given Milwaukee’s success at “bullpenning” during their recent surge, it would not be surprising if they went with that approach in this critical one-game playoff. Expect Brent Suter, Drew Pomeranz, and Josh Hader to pitch in this game as well. It will be imperative for Milwaukee to not play from behind, so getting two or three clean innings from Woodruff to start the game would go a long way.

 

The Nationals are a tough team and pose a daunting challenge with ace Max Scherzer and a potent offense led by Anthony Rendon. Yelich’s presence will surely be missed, but expect a close, low-scoring game with Milwaukee continuing their hot streak and coming out on top 4-2.

 

The Brewers have Clinched a spot in the 2019 Postseason

After an unrealistic September, the greatest in team history, the Brewers finally clinched a playoff spot Wednesday night with a 9-2 win over the Reds…

 

As soon as Reds pitcher, Tyler Mahle, stepped on the mound, Milwaukee already had the game in the bag. After a grand slam in the first inning by Ryan Braun which was followed up with a solo shot from Eric Thames, the Brewers never took their foot off the gas. Jordan Lyles pitched 5 innings and gave up 2 runs and then the bullpen took over and threw 4 scoreless innings. Once Cory Spangenberg made the final out, the arms went up and the dugout cleared to the field. The celebration ensued in the dugout while there was plenty of champagne, cigars, and Miller Lite to go around. However, there was still a general feeling that this Brewers team was not done. 

Going into September, the Brewers were 3rd in the division at 69-66 and were 6.5 games back of the first place Cardinals. Everybody knew if the Brewers were going to make the playoffs, they would have to go on a remarkable run. The Brewers accepted the challenge and have preceded to go 19-4 in September and 10-1 in their last 11. Christian Yelich went down with an injury on September 10th and that’s when Brewer fans were ready to accept their collective demise. Instead, the team has gone 12-2 since the MVP went down. They have been led by the veteran, Ryan Braun, who has hit .259 in the month of September with 4 home runs and 17 RBIs and they have also been led by the entire pitching staff. The pitching staff has stepped up and is putting on their best performances of the season. 

2019 will be Milwaukee’s 3rd time making the postseason in the past 9 years. If the season ended today, Milwaukee would be going to Washington to matchup against Max Scherzer or Stephen Strasburg. Although, the season isn’t over, the Brewers are only 1.5 games back of the division lead with 4 games left. No matter what happens, making the postseason in any capacity is great for an organization. Year after year the Brewers are proving themselves to be one of the best franchises in baseball by continuing to make the playoffs. 

MLB Pipeline names Trey Supak Milwaukee’s Top Pitching Prospect

MLB Pipeline is the premier spot for prospect news and rankings. Every year the Pipeline goes through each team and names their best hitting and pitching prospect. To qualify, the players had to have spent half the year in the minors and they had to have appeared on the Pipeline’s Top 30 list for each team. For the Brewers, Trent Grisham was rated the best hitter which was an easy, unsurprising choice, and for the best Milwaukee Brewers pitching prospect, MLB Pipeline went with Trey Supak. 

Trey Supak is a 23-year-old, 6’5” 240 pound righty who has been pitching in the minors since he was 18 back in 2014. Supak has four pitches which are a fastball, curveball, changeup, and cutter, that he can throw for strikes. He has confidence to throw each pitch no matter the count which makes him a very effective pitcher. Despite his enormous size, Supak only has average velocity, he throws his fastball in the low to mid 90s but can sometimes reach 95. He is a pitcher who projects to be a number four or five starter in the majors. 

This season, when combining Supak’s AA and AAA numbers, he was 12-6 with a 3.60 ERA in 152.2 innings pitched. He also had 118 strikeouts and a very good WHIP of 1.028. Although he had a very consistent year, Supak demonstrated the ability to dominate at times. In fact, he came one out away from a no-hitter twice in Double-A. 

Next season, Supak is almost a lock to start next season in Triple-A barring any setbacks or incredible spring training play. If he shows success at the Triple-A level, Brewer fans should expect to see the righty as soon as late May or early June.

Aaron Ashby to accept 2019 Robin Yount Performance Award on Saturday

Last week it was announced that Aaron Ashby won the 2019 Robin Yount Performance Award. The award goes to the top minor league performers in the Brewers organization. The award goes to one position player and one pitcher. Trent Grisham won it for hitters which was expected but the pitching award went to lefty, Aaron Ashby. 

The 21-year-old was a 4th round pick in 2018 and excelled in his first full season. Between Single A and A+ ball, Ashby went 5-10 with a 3.50 ERA in 24 games and 23 starts. He threw 126.0 innings and had 135 strikeouts with a WHIP of 1.278. Ashby pitched in 68.1 more innings than last season and had a .09 better ERA and a better WHIP by .023. 

Ashby has a very deceptive delivery as a lefty which will help him throughout the minor league system and in the majors. He throws a low 90s fastball that looks like it’s in the mid 90s due to his funky delivery. He also throws an extremely nasty curveball that is already MLB ready. He can throw it at different speeds, with different kinds of break and locate it well against lefties and righties. He gets a lot of swings and misses on the pitch and it’s the pitch that will propel him to the majors. Ashby also has a changeup but he doesn’t throw it often enough to be effective, he is mainly a two pitch pitcher. 

The Brewers seem excited about what Ashby can bring in the future. According to Brewers’ Farm Director, Tom Flanagan, Ashby has an “advanced feel to pitch” and a quality pitch repertoire that will help him move quickly through the minor league system. It is very tough to find good lefty pitchers in any team’s farm system but Milwaukee has their hidden gem with Aaron Ashby. Fans can expect to see the future starter as early as Mid-2020 in a lefty specialist/long reliever role. 

 

All-Star, Brandon Woodruff, is back for the Brewers

Tuesday night, Brandon Woodruff made his triumphant return to the field after being out since July 21st with an oblique strain. He was going up against Padres’ ace and rookie sensation, Chris Paddack. Before his injury, Woodruff was Milwaukee’s ace and the anchor of the pitching staff. He was 11-3 with an ERA of 3.75 in 117.2 innings. He had struck out 136 batters and had a WHIP of 1.173. His best stretch came from April 27th through May 26th. In that span, Woodruff had made 6 starts and went 6-0 with an elite ERA of 1.42 in 38 innings pitched. He had also recorded 43 strikeouts and held opponents to a batting average of just .178. Because of his incredible start to the season, Brandon Woodruff made the 2019 All-Star game in a move that nobody would have predicted in the preseason. 

It wasn’t just his pitching that made Woodruff a fan-favorite. He had a very good bat too, if it wasn’t for his injury he would be the front runner for the pitchers Silver Slugger Award. In 50 plate appearances he had a .267 BA with 4 doubles and 4 RBIs. He was even put in the game as pinch hitter on some occasions. Woodruff provided a lot to the Brewers when it came to pitching and hitting so when he went down, it was a devastating blow to the team and fans alike. 

Going into Tuesday’s game, Woodruff was put on a pitch count. On his rehab tour he was throwing 40-45 pitches during simulated games and that was his limit on Tuesday. He ended up throwing 37 pitches, 23 of them were strikes, in 2 complete innings pitched. His final stat line read, 2 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts. He lowered his season ERA from 3.75 to 3.69. The first batter Woodruff faced was San Diego’s utility man, Greg Garcia, who he struck out and then received thunderous applause from the Milwaukee faithful. The next batter, Nick Martini, hit a dribbler to Eric Thames in which Woodruff had to make the cover which he successfully did. Manny Machado was up next who he walked on a 3-2 count but it wasn’t before Woodruff threw his hardest pitch of the night which was a 99 mph fastball. With 1 on and 2 outs, Woodruff had to pitch from the stretch and made quick work of Eric Hosmer by striking him out to end the inning. 

After a strikeout to end the 1st, Woodruff started the 2nd the same way. He struck out 31-homer hitter, Hunter Renfroe, on a nasty moving slider. Manuel Margot was up next and the Brewer pitcher got him to break his bat and hit a weak ground ball to Cory Spangenberg for the 2nd out. The final batter of his 2 inning outing was Fernando Tatis Jr.’s replacement, Luis Urías. Woodruff started the at-bat down in the count 3-0 but was able to come all the way back to strike out Urías on a 97 mph, high-outside fastball. 

Woodruff’s return to the mound was very promising. His fastball had great velocity and his slider had great movement. He was able to locate these pitches on the corners to each hitter he faced. I don’t want to overreact based on 2 innings but I’m going to anyways. It looks like we got our ace back. 

 

Cory Spangenberg: Mr. September

Entering the month of September the Brewers were 2.5 games back of the Cubs and 6.5 games back of the Cardinals. Everybody knew if Milwaukee wanted a shot to make the playoffs, they would have to go on a run during the month of September. Well, that’s exactly what they have been doing. However, it hasn’t been Christian Yelich leading the team at the plate, or Grandal or Moustakas, it has been super utility man, Cory Spangenberg. 

The Brewers signed Cory Spangenberg last offseason after he was released by the Padres after he was there for 5 seasons. His best season came in 2017 when he hit .264 with 13 home runs and 46 RBIs. He also scored 57 runs and was the Padres starting third baseman. He was released because his production just wasn’t good enough for the rebuilding San Diego Padres. 

This season, with the Brewers, Spangenberg played with their Triple-A affiliate, the San Antonio Missions for 113 games before being called up on August 24th. Spangenberg was actually one of the best players for San Antonio all season, he hit .309 and had an OPS of .876. He hit 14 homers, drove in 62 runs, and had 28 doubles. He did all of this while playing every single position except pitcher and catcher. When the Brewers added Spangenberg to their September roster, not many people expected him to play well. He was just a guy to backup Mike Moustakas and Keston Hiura and hopefully get on base here or there. Spangenberg has done way more than that. 

From September 1st through September 16th, Spangenberg has hit .275 with 2 home runs, 2 triples, and 8 RBIs. There have been only 2 games in the entire month of September where he hasn’t registered a hit. His biggest hit came on September 15th when the Brewers were playing the Cardinals in one of the most important series of the season. In the top of the seventh, the Brewers were down by 1 and Spangenberg smoked a line drive for a 2-run homer that put Milwaukee in the lead. On a side note, he has also scored 6 runs and stolen 2 bases during his hot streak. In September, Milwaukee has a dominant record of 11-3 when Spangenberg plays which very well could be the most important stat. 

Spangenberg is a true professional and a player every young, minor league player should look up to. He has never complained about not being on the Major League squad and did his job at the highest level in Triple-A. For someone to stay focused throughout the long season and step up for his team when it matters most, that’s something only the purest of professionals can do. Now it is time for Spangenberg to stay consistent and lead the Brewers to the Postseason.

Where does Grandal’s Season rank among the 15 best in Brewers’ Franchise History

The Brewers have been a franchise since 1969 and have used numerous different catchers throughout the years. Yasmani Grandal was signed this offseason to a huge contract and had high expectations to produce in Milwaukee as their everyday catcher. Grandal responded to the high expectations by having one of the greatest seasons the franchise has ever seen by a catcher. His extraordinary year raises the question, where does Grandal’s 2019 season rank among the greatest ever by a Brewer catcher?

15. Charlie Moore (1980)

Charlie Moore played in Milwaukee for 14 years and was the team’s primary catcher for just a few of those. In 1980, Moore played in 111 games and had 93 hits in 320 at-bats. He added 2 home runs, 30 RBIs, 13 doubles and 42 runs scored. Although the numbers don’t look like much, they were enough to get Moore’s 1980 season in the Top 15 of greatest ever by a Brewer catcher. 

14. B.J. Surhoff (1987)

Surhoff exploded onto the scene as a 22-year-old rookie in 1987. He batted .299 with an OPS+ of 102. He hit 7 homers, batted in 68 runs, and scored 50 runs. In 1987, it looked like Surhoff was going to be one of the best catchers in the league for a long time. 

13. Bill Schroeder (1987)

Most Brewer fans know Bill Schroeder as Milwaukee’s color commenter on FS Wisconsin but before that, he was a solid backup catcher for the Brewers. 1987 was easily his best season in Milwaukee. That year he only played in 75 games but he made a tremendous impact backing up the rookie, B.J. Surhoff. He hit .332 and had an OPS of .927 which are both elite numbers for an MLB hitter. He had 14 home runs, 42 RBIs, and 12 doubles in a very limited role. If Schroeder played in more than 75 games, his 1987 season would have been much higher than 13th.

12. Ellie Rodriguez (1972)

The 1972 Brewers only won 65 games but that was not due to poor play from their catcher. Ellie Rodriguez made the 1972 All-Star Game and joined guys like Rod Carew, Willie Stargell, and Hank Aaron in the summer classic. This was Rodriguez’s second All-Star appearance but his first as a Brewer. In 1972, he batted .285 with an OPS+ of 123 which was the best mark of his career. He also added 35 RBIs, 14 doubles, and 31 runs en route to the 12th best season by a Brewer catcher. 

11. Charlie Moore (1979)

Charlie Moore finds himself on the list again, but this time a little bit higher. In 1979, he hit .300 and added 5 home runs, 38 RBIs and 45 runs scored. The Brewers were just starting their run of consecutive solid seasons and Moore was a big part of that. 

10. Johnny Estrada (2007)

To start of the Top 10, we finally get our first player from this century in Johnny Estrada. A former All-Star with the Atlanta Braves, the Brewers we’re getting Estrada in 2007 as a one year rental. Estrada made the most of it by batting .278 with an OPS of .699. He hit 10 homers, added 54 RBIs, 25 doubles, and 40 runs scored. Estrada was traded in the next offseason for reliever, Guillermo Moto, and was out of the league by mid-season of 2008.

9. Jonathan Lucroy (2012)

One cannot simply make a list of greatest Brewers’ catchers seasons without fan favorite, Jonathan Lucroy. 2012 was Lucroy’s breakout season in the majors, he hit a remarkable .320 with an OPS+ of 132 in 96 games. A great season no doubt, but it could have been better if Lucroy played more than 96 games. 

8. B.J. Surhoff (1991)

B.J. Surhoff is back on the list at number eight. In 1991, Surhoff played in 143 games and hit .289 with 5 home runs and 68 RBIs. He registered 146 hits that season and scored 57 runs thanks to teammates like Greg Vaughn, Dante Bichette, and Robin Yount. 

7. Dave Nilsson (1994)

The Australian born catcher had himself a fantastic season in 1994. He hit .275 with 12 homers, 69 RBIs, 28 doubles, and 51 runs scored. It was Nilsson’s best season to date that the 53-win Brewers desperately needed. 

6. Dave Nilsson (1999)

In 1999 Dave Nilsson became the first Australian born player to become an MLB All-Star. After a few seasons off of being Milwaukee’s primary catcher, Nilsson resumed the role in 1999. Surprisingly, 1999 was Nilsson’s final season in the MLB even though it was his best. He hit 21 home runs, which is very good for a catcher, and drove in 62 runs. He also had a batting average of .309 with an OPS of .954 and an OPS+ of 141 which was higher than guys like Todd Helton, Mike Piazza, and Luis Gonzalez. Nilsson has a season for the books in 1999 but it still wasn’t enough to crack the top five. 

5. Jonathan Lucroy (2013)                          

Lucroy followed up his breakout season in 2012 with a dominant 2013 campaign. He played in 147 games and batted .280 with 18 home runs and a career high, 82 RBIs. This was the season that solidified Lucroy’s place as one of the best catchers in the National League. 

4. Yasmani Grandal (2019)       

Grandal’s first season in Milwaukee has been phenomenal. As of September 16th, Grandal has an .869 OPS with 27 homers and 72 RBIs. He made the 2019 All-Star game and is having the greatest season of his career. Grandal has been one of the main reasons Milwaukee is still in the playoff race in Mid-September. 

3. Ted Simmons (1982)

1982 was the most successful season in Brewer franchise history. The 82’ squad was led offensively by Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Cecil Cooper, Gorman Thomas and the often forgotten, Ted Simmons. In 1982, Simmons had already established himself as one of the best power hitting catchers in the entire MLB. His name was often put in the group of all-time great catchers of his time like, Carlton Fisk, Gary Carter, and Lance Parrish. In 82’, Simmons hit .269 with an OPS of .759. He hit 23 home runs, 29 doubles and had 97 RBIs. Without Ted Simmons, Milwaukee’s catcher would have been an afterthought during their World Series run. 

2. Jonathan Lucroy (2014)

Lucroy made his first All-Star game in 2014 while leading the entire league in doubles with 53. He also scored 73 runs, hit 13 homers, and drove in 69 RBIs. He had a batting average of .301 with an OPS+ of 131. Also, what makes 2014 even more impressive for Lucroy is that he played in 153 games. Many catchers take regularly scheduled off days but Lucroy didn’t which made him even more valuable. He finished 4th in MVP voting in 2014 behind Andrew McCutchen, Giancarlo Stanton, and Clayton Kershaw. 

1. Ted Simmons (1983)

The greatest season in Brewer catcher history goes to Ted Simmons’ 1983 season. He finished 6th in the AL in RBIs with 108 while hitting 13 home runs. He also rocked 39 doubles which was good for 8th in the American League and had an elite batting average of .308. Simmons made his 8th and final All-Star game in 1983 and was perhaps the most effective player for the Brewers during the season.