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Tuesday, June 18th 2019
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Crew Lands Six in Baseball America Top 100

The future looks bright in Milwaukee. The Brewers recently placed six prospects in Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list, showing that the system not only houses great talent, but great depth as well. Highly regarded prospects like outfielder Trent Clark and pitcher Phil Bickford were left off, while both could easily have made the list. A second drug-related suspension likely pushed Bickford out of consideration, with a string of injuries doing the same for Clark. They will look to bounce back in a big way in 2017.

Five of the six Brewers’ prospects that made the list were acquired within the last year, displaying the commitment that the organization made to develop young, controllable talent. The Crew will look to continue their rebuild this year, as they possess a high draft pick in the first round and also have several players that could turn into trade chips in exchange for more prospects come trade deadline time. Now, let’s look at each of the six prospects ranked in the Baseball America Top 100, with each of their respective rankings.

  1. Lewis Brinson, OF

Considered the jewel of the Brewers’ 2016 deadline deal with the Texas Rangers, Brinson possesses the potential to be one of the most special players in Brewers history. Drafted in the first round by the Rangers in 2012, Brinson has all the tools necessary to be a perennial all-star. Coupling his raw power with elite speed, he is a serious threat to be the first Brewers player to achieve a 30 home run-30 steal season since Ryan Braun in 2012. Brinson also has the ability to be a special defender, as his speed, arm, and instincts give him the ability to be a hawk in centerfield.

Is Ryan Braun Primed for a Career Resurgence?

Take a step back to December 9th, 2011. The city of Milwaukee was brimming with baseball pride. During his fifth season with the Brewers, Ryan Braun had recently captured Milwaukee’s first MVP award since Robin Yount did so in 1989, and on the heels of a trip to the NLCS, things were looking bright for the Crew with Braun locked into a long-term extension.

Then, December 10th happened.

On that date, an Outside the Lines report was released implicating Braun as a PED-user, stating that he had tested positive for abnormally high levels of testosterone during the playoffs. Braun’s reputation took a nosedive, and after an outstanding 2012 season, his on-field performance experienced a decline as well.

After two injury-riddled campaigns in 2013 and 2014, Braun bounced back in a big way, accumulating 3.2 WAR in 2015 and 3.4 WAR in 2016 while slashing a combined .295/.361/518 over the two seasons. However, 2017 and 2018 were not as kind to Braun – he has posted a sub-2.0 WAR in both years, and saw large decreases in both his batting average and slugging percentage, as his cumulative stats dropped to .261/.325/.478.

Some of these struggles are surely due to Braun’s age. As an injury-prone player in his age 33 and 34 seasons, a decrease in production was to be expected. However, another part of the issue, especially in 2018, was more abstract – Braun seemingly was extremely unlucky.

I’m sure every fan who regularly watched the Brewers last season can remember at least a few instances of Braun hitting a ball right on the nose, only for it to be directly at a member of the defense. While these memories are a qualitative indicator of his “unluckiness”, there are quantitative measures that back it up. MLB’s “Statcast” tracks the velocity and launch angle of every batted ball, and from that data can determine what a player’s stats were expected to be over the course of a season based on his batted ball profile. We can compare these to Braun’s actual stats to see the extent of his “unluckiness”.

In 2018, the difference between Braun’s expected stats and his actual stats was stark to say the least. While he slashed .254/.313/.469, his expected line was .296/.355/.515. Essentially, Braun hit the ball like an all-star caliber player, but got results that would place him as an average regular.

Statcast also measures two statistics called wOBA and xwOBA, which stand for “weighted on-base average” and “expected weighted on-base average”. These statistics account for the true value of each offensive outcome (single, double, etc.) by using the “run values” for each, rather than counting simply by total bases. Given that a single is not actually worth half as much double as is currently represented in slugging percentage, wOBA accounts for that and gives a better indicator of actual offensive output by giving each event its proper value. Accordingly, xwOBA calculates what a player’s offensive output in this regard should have been given his batted ball profile (quality of contact). For Ryan Braun in 2018, he saw a huge negative gap between his expected and actual weighted-on base averages, further adding to the notion that he experienced bad luck. His xwOBA was .368, good for 30th best in the league, putting him in line with the actual 2018 performances of all-stars like Charlie Blackmon, Mitch Haniger, Javier Baez, and Francisco Lindor. The difference between his expected (.368) and actual (.330) performance was the eighth largest negative gap in the league.

To attempt to bridge the gap between his expected performance and actual performance, Braun decided to embark this offseason on a certain process for the first time in his career – a swing change. He actually started to tweak it during September, during which he saw his best numbers of the 2018 season (.265/.375/.588 with 6 home runs). During September, Braun coincidentally also had his highest percentage of hard hit balls of any month last year (66.7%), which was the highest hard hit rate for any player in any month of last year. Not only could a swing change help him change his luck, but it could actually lead to some of the best stats of his career.

With this swing change, he is aiming to increase the launch angle of his average batted ball, which he believes will help him generate stats that are more in line with his high-level batted ball profile. To illustrate, he said the following during an interview in January: “If you want to take luck out of the equation, you hit more balls over the fence,” he said. “If I’m able to do that, luck becomes less of a factor.” Based on that quote, fans in the left field bleachers at Miller Park might want to pay extra attention when Braun is up this year.

In all seriousness, if Braun can pull off this swing change with success, it could lead to a completely revitalized career trajectory, with team success for the Brewers being an obvious byproduct. Rather than being on his last legs, Braun could play at a high level for another three to four years, given his body holds up. With his contract with the Brewers running through 2021, you can bet that Braun performing in line with his expected statistics would be a true difference maker in helping solidify the Crew as a perennial contender in the NL.

Regression Who? Christian Yelich is not familiar

All stats are as of 4/26 and provided by Fangraphs and Baseball Savant

It’s been about 6 months since Christian Yelich accepted his MVP Award. Almost immediately after, Twitter swarmed with one question, How bad will he regress? When you look at what Yelich was able to accomplish in the second half of last season, your mouth is left open. Super human, is a better way to describe it. Throughout the offseason Yelich made his MVP rounds and was constantly asked, how do you top last year? The answer always seems to be implied as you can’t. That’s saying that a player was so good there is no way he could get better, right? However so far this year, Yelich is proving that theory all wrong.

Everybody seems to only focus on the power aspect of Yelich, when in reality is such a minuscule part of his play. Sure the homeruns are fun and cute, but they are only the end result of a well rounded batter. What goes into it is, the pitches per at bat, hard hit%, and wOBA, to list a few. All of these numbers were incredible for Christian last year, and they seem to be identical or getting better so far this season.

Year Pitches per at-bat Hard Hit% wOBA
2018 3.89   50.8% .418
2019 3.85   55.4% .475

 

Just when you think you would see some sort of downfall, you don’t. It’s crazy to think that a player can be on a hot streak for so long. Or maybe he is just really that good, which seems more like it, at the rate this is going. The only stat that hasn’t gone up since the brink of this young season is the pitches per at-bat. However, it is a very small difference around .04, it is still a difference in the scheme of the season. For kicks, in a 650 PA season, it translates to around a 25 pitch difference, which isn’t much in the long run. The ability to kill pitchers from hitting out of your socks, is insanity itself. Then adding in the fact he can have quality at-bats, will drive them up a wall (get it homeruns go over the wall). It will also result in many more hits. The longer the hitter sits and fouls off pitches he can’t do much with, the better a chance he has to catch a mistake. The moral of the story here, is that he will continue to drive pitchers crazy.

Another stat to look at is Yelich’s hard hit%. Yeah making contact is great and all, however, being able to hit the ball hard is even more deadly. Also, to add on the fact that he is doing it over 50% of the time, thats stupid good. His percentage from last year landed him in the top 2% of the league. Then, to bring that number up just under 5% (top 3% of the league), is insane. Throughout his career he has always hit the ball very well, from the beginning of his career he has improved just over 10%. To add to that, it has never gotten worse in his career it has always gotten better. The kid doesn’t even have any history of regression.

The last thing to look at is wOBA (weighted on base average, aka my favorite stat). If you have read anything I have wrote before, you know that wOBA makes an appearance in almost every article. It is the perfect all around offensive stat. To sum it up, it takes everything into account, HBP, BB, extra base hits, and more. Throughout Christian’s career he has always held a pretty high wOBA number, however it jumped in 2018. His number was incredible last season, putting him above the excellent category according to Fangraphs. Just when you think it couldn’t get better, his number this year has skyrocketed to nearly .07 more than last year. That puts him exponentially over the excellent category, and the top 1% of the league.

Have I convinced you yet that there is no slowing down for Christian Yelich? The numbers really do speak for themselves. Yelich is a special player and one that will be very impactful for years to come. Even if he does slow down a bit to the player we saw in the first half of last season, he was still an All-Star. I think it is safe to say that regression isn’t even in Yelich’s vocabulary.

Brewers Moves: Arcia Sent Down

The Brewers have been busy today.  If you have not seen it yet, here are the transactions made by the organization this morning per Tom Haudricourt:

  • Optioned to Class AAA Colorado Springs:
    • Orlando Arcia, SS
      • 44 Games, .194 BA, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 2 SB, 6 Errors in 2018
    • Jorge Lopez, RHP
      • 10.1 IP, 4.35 ERA, 8 K, 6 BB in 2018 with Milwaukee
      • 11.0 IP, 2.45 ERA, 7 K, 2 BB, 4 SV in 2018 with Colorado Springs (AAA)
  • Designated for Assignment
    • Jett Bandy, C
      • 84 Games, .202 BA, 7 HR, 19 RBI in 2 years with Milwaukee
  • Recalled from Class AAA Colorado Springs
    • Eric Sogard, INF
      • 28 Games, .100 BA, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2 Errors in 2018 with Milwaukee
      • 11 Games, .229 BA, 0 HR, 7 RBI in 2018 with Colorado Springs (AAA)
  • Recalled from Class AA Biloxi
    • Adrian Houser, RHP
      • 2.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 3 K, 0 BB in 2018 with Milwaukee
      • 26.2 IP, 4.73 ERA, 30 K, 7 BB in 2018 with Biloxi (AA)
  • Acquired from the New York Yankees for a Player to be Named Later or Cash
    • Erik Kratz, C
      • 17 Games, .269 BA, 4 HR, 6 RBI in 2018 with Scranton (AAA)
      • 228 Games, .203 BA, 24 HR, 75 RBI in 9 year MLB career

The Brewers are looking for highly-touted shortstop, Orlando Arcia, to gain some confidence at the plate while in Colorado Springs.  While he is down there, the hope is Eric Sogard can summon some of the “Nerd Power” he mustered up in 2017. Jett Bandy seemingly been an automatic out at the plate and the Brewers decided to go a different route by acquiring 37-year old catcher, Erik Kratz, from the Yankees. Catching prospect Jacob Nottingham is injured which caused the organization to look in a different direction. The short stint Houser had with the Brewers was successful based on the stats listed above and was enough for the Brewers to make the change from Jorge Lopez in the already effective bullpen.

 

Feel free to comment below or tweet @CreamCityCtrl with your reactions to the transactions.

Breakout Brewers: Chase Anderson

Chase Anderson has proven to be more than a pleasant surprise in 2017 – he has been a god-send for a Brewers pitching staff that has at times appeared futile. Acquired along with prospect Isan Diaz and MLB infielder Aaron Hill during the off-season, Anderson was inserted into the starting rotation. He had an up-and-down season, finishing with a 9-11 record, a 4.31 ERA, and a 1.37 WHIP. Advanced metrics rated Anderson’s performance as that of a below average starting pitcher, displayed by his 1.1 WAR (wins above replacement) and his 98 ERA+ (100 is league average).

Meet Milwaukee’s 2019 First Round Draft Pick

On June 3rd, the MLB Draft took place in Secaucus, New Jersey. The Milwaukee Brewers had the 28th pick in the first round and used it to select a walk-on from Mississippi State. Ethan Small is a 6’3” 214 pound left-handed starting pitcher who was the first college pitcher the Brewers selected in the first round since Taylor Jungmann in 2011. The 20-year-old had an incredible year in the SEC which is the toughest conference in college baseball. He started 18 games (1st in SEC) and had an ERA of 1.88 in 96 innings. Small allowed 3 or fewer runs in 15 of his 18 starts. He also added 160 strikeouts (2nd in SEC) and only 27 walks. This past season he joined only 22 other pitchers in Mississippi State history to record 100+ strikeouts in a season. Also, opposing hitters only hit .160 against the lefty. These numbers allowed Ethan Small to win the 2019 SEC Pitcher of the Year and got him ranked 56th on MLB Pipeline.

Small does not have great velocity on his pitches, he throws it somewhere between 88-92 mph but it has great movement. Also, he throws a fantastic changeup that sits in the mid-70s that looks identical to his fastball out of his hand. Finally, he throws a curveball that isn’t dominating but passable. Small has a high swing and miss rate on his pitches due to his changing of speeds, location, and deceptive delivery. When it comes to the delivery, think Clayton Kershaw with a little bit of Chris Sale. The best player comparison for Small is former 10-year veteran and World Series champion, Jaime Garcia.

The only red flag, the reason why Ethan Small was not picked earlier, was because he had Tommy John surgery in his sophomore season. However, Brewer fans should not be worried about this because he came back a better pitcher after the surgery. Plus, the Brewer medical team looked extensively through his medical records.

Milwaukee sees Small as a future piece in their rotation. Expert scouts predict him becoming a solid 3 or 4 option in the rotation. Due to his college experience and high pitching IQ, expect a quick accession for Ethan Small throughout the Minor League system. Brewer fans can expect to see him as soon as 2021.

Brewers Week In Review: 6/27-7/2

The Brewers, again, entered this past week with a division lead over Chicago still intact. Cubs fans around social media continued to argue “this won’t last much longer, when the Cubs get hot, the Brewers are going down.” However, that continues not to be the case, as yet another up and down week (this time 3-3) still has resulted in a 2 game division stronghold heading into Monday’s contests. However, a one-game showdown with the Cubs in Wrigley looms, so the Crew’s next series against Baltimore and those after it remain all the more critical.

Now, it’s time for a look at the week ahead.

The Week Ahead

Upcoming series: vs. Baltimore (7/3-7/5), @ Chicago (7/6), @ NY Yankees (7/7-7/9)

Pitching matchups vs. Baltimore: Wade Miley (3-6, 4.54 ERA) vs. Brent Suter (0-1, 4.20 ERA); Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3, 6.48 ERA) vs. Jimmy Nelson (6-4, 3.43 ERA); Chris Tillman (1-5, 7.90 ERA) vs. Matt Garza (3-4, 4.36 ERA)

Pitching matchups at Chicago: Zach Davies (9-4, 5.03 ERA) vs. Mike Montgomery (1-5, 2.80 ERA)

Players to Watch: Orlando Arcia and Zach Davies

Weekly Awards

Rollie Fingers Award for First-Team All-Swagger (player that went out “balls to the wall”)

Winner: Orlando Arcia

For the second week in a row, the Rollie Fingers award goes to Orlando Arcia. Yes, I know, I can’t just give it to him every week (and don’t worry, I won’t). However, he once again deserves it. From delivering a perfect cut off throw to nail down J.T. Realmuto at home plate and prevent the tying run from scoring to continuing his hot-hitting ways (hitting over .340 since mid-May), Arcia again showed why he is more than deserving of this award. Maybe, just maybe, someone can dethrone him next week.

The Robin Yount Award for Pure and Utter Dominance (Most Dominant Player)

Winner: Stephen Vogt

Since being claimed off of waivers by Milwaukee on June 25th, the former Athletics catcher has already endeared himself quite well to the Brewers faithful. For one, he collected his first hit and RBI as a Brewer in his first start, a 4-3 loss at Cincinnati, where his RBI sac fly was pulled back into the yard by Scott Schebler on what looked to be a sure home run. Vogt then likely thought “well, I’ll just hit some at home” and did just that, with his first two hits at home leaving the yard and providing all Brewers RBIs in a 3-2 win over the Marlins. He even received a curtain call for his efforts following the second blast.

The Ben Sheets Award for Best Heat (Best Pitcher)

Winner: Jimmy Nelson

While last week’s winner Corey Knebel could have been selected again on the back of a record-tying appearance against Miami and the club’s sole All-Star nod, Nelson’s start this week could not be ignored. Against a powerful Reds lineup in Cincinnati which includes bats such as Joey Votto and the aforementioned Scott Schebler, Nelson shut them down over seven innings, only giving up two earned runs while walking only one and striking out eleven. The start also lowered his ERA to his current 3.43, and he will hope to continue his series of strong starts against Baltimore on July 4th.

Prospect Update

AAA: Colorado Springs

Brett Phillips (Brewers No. 10 Prospect): .282, 15 2B, 6 3B, 14 HR, 54 RBI, 2 SB

Ryan Cordell (Brewers No. 16 Prospect): .284, 18 2B, 5 3B, 10 HR, 45 RBI, 9 SB

AA: Biloxi Shuckers

Luis Ortiz (Brewers No. 4 Prospect): 3-4, 3.79 ERA, 59.1 IP, 54 K, 24 BB, 1.21 WHIP, .223 Opponent AVG

Mauricio Dubon (Brewers No. 9 Prospect): .276, 14 2B, 2 HR, 24 RBI, 31 SB (Called up to AAA Colorado Springs)

Corbin Burnes (Brewers No. 20 Prospect): 2-1, 1.53 ERA, 29.1 IP, 32 K, 5 BB, 0.75 WHIP, .165 AVG

 

A: Carolina Mudcats/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

Corey Ray (Brewers No. 2 Prospect): .251, 18 2B, 4 HR, 31 RBI, 18 SB at A Adv Carolina

Mario Feliciano (Brewers No. 23 Prospect): .252, 10 2B, 2 HR, 22 RBI, 6 SB at A Wisconsin

Jake Gatewood (Brewers No. 25 Prospect): .279, 25 2B, 10 HR, 38 RBI, 7 SB at A Adv Carolina

Trey Supak (Brewers No. 29 Prospect): 1-2, 6.67 ERA, 29.2 IP, 33 K, 16 BB, 1.58 WHIP, .267 AVG at Adv A Carolina

Brewers Week In Review: 7/10-7/16

Around social media, it is an oddly tense time among the Brewers faithful. While the organization spent the weekend celebrating the glory days that were the 1982 AL title and subsequent World Series appearance, some fans argued that the team celebrated “failure”. On the other hand, a Sunday loss to the Philadelphia Phillies and a critical road trip on the horizon has some wondering if this is where the ship finally begins to show some cracks. Is this the product of years of conditioning to heartbreak and disappointment that Brewers fans have primarily endured since 1982, or is it much to do about nothing? For that answer, we shall watch and wait.

For now, though, it’s time for a look at the week ahead.

The Week Ahead

 

Upcoming series: @ Pittsburgh (7/17-7/20) and @ Philadelphia (7/21-7/23)

Pitching matchups @ Pittsburgh: Brent Suter (1-1, 2.96 ERA) vs. Chad Kuhl (3-6, 4.96 ERA); Junior Guerra (1-3, 4.78 ERA) vs. Ivan Nova (9-6, 3.21 ERA); Zach Davies (11-4, 5.08 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (7-7, 4.35 ERA); Jimmy Nelson (8-4, 3.27 ERA) vs. Jameson Taillon (5-3, 3.06 ERA)

Pitching matchups @ Philadelphia: TBA vs. Aaron Nola (6-6, 3.54 ERA); TBA vs. Jeremy Hellickson (6-5, 4.44 ERA); TBA vs. TBA

Weekly Awards

Rollie Fingers Award for First-Team All-Swagger (player that went out “balls to the wall”)

Winner: Brett Phillips

Okay, I know this may be a weak reason, but voter fatigue may have played a part in this. That is because, if it weren’t for Phillips, Orlando Arcia would have likely once again won this award. However, Phillips did have himself a pretty great Sunday (despite the loss). Hitting his first career Major League home run, a no-doubter at that, had to be an incredibly special moment for the 23-year-old outfielder. In addition, his trip through the now famous dugout home run gauntlet was one of the best all season, with Phillips responding to Orlando Arcia’s traditional scream with one right back at him. Whether Phillips is involved in any possible deal at the deadline or not, that is one Milwaukee memory he will surely never forget.

The Robin Yount Award for Pure and Utter Dominance (Most Dominant Player)

Winner: Ryan Braun

It was a small sample size this week, but the show must go on nonetheless. This week, Ryan Braun takes his first Robin Yount award after a week where not only did he go 3-for-10, a solid average, but also capped off one of the best innings of the Brewers’ season so far with a no-doubt grand slam against the Phillies in Friday’s 9-6 victory. With an important road trip ahead, it is important for players such as Braun and fringe All-Star Travis Shaw to truly step up and lead the Brewers in the next 10 outings.

The Ben Sheets Award for Best Heat (Best Pitcher)

Winner: Corey Knebel

“At long last,” I can hear you, yes YOU, the reader exclaiming under your breath, “a repeat winner of the Ben Sheets Award for Best Heat.” Okay, maybe not in those specific terms, but I digress. Once again, the Brewers shutdown closer takes his place atop the Brewers’ pitcher rankings after an impressive showing against Philadelphia. In the series, he recorded two saves on back-to-back nights while striking out 4 batters in two innings, extending his MLB-record streak of consecutive games with a strikeout to 45 to start 2017.

Prospect Update

AAA: Colorado Springs

Brett Phillips (Brewers No. 10 Prospect): .293, 16 2B, 7 3B, 17 HR, 66 RBI, 5 SB

Ryan Cordell (Brewers No. 16 Prospect): .284, 18 2B, 5 3B, 10 HR, 45 RBI, 9 SB (currently injured)

Mauricio Dubon (Brewers No. 9 Prospect): .239, 4 2B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 2 SB (16 games played with CS)

AA: Biloxi Shuckers

Luis Ortiz (Brewers No. 4 Prospect): 3-5, 4.12 ERA, 67.2 IP, 59 K, 31 BB, 1.27 WHIP, .224 Opponent AVG

Corbin Burnes (Brewers No. 20 Prospect): 3-1, 1.14 ERA, 47.1 IP, 48 K, 6 BB, 0.76 WHIP, .179 AVG

 

A: Carolina Mudcats/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

Corey Ray (Brewers No. 2 Prospect): .230, 18 2B, 4 HR, 33 RBI, 18 SB at A Adv Carolina

Mario Feliciano (Brewers No. 23 Prospect): .242, 12 2B, 3 HR, 25 RBI, 8 SB at A Wisconsin

Jake Gatewood (Brewers No. 25 Prospect): .278, 31 2B, 10 HR, 45 RBI, 7 SB at A Adv Carolina

Trey Supak (Brewers No. 29 Prospect): 2-3, 5.48 ERA, 46.0 IP, 40 K, 19 BB, 1.39 WHIP, .254 AVG at Adv A Carolina

Freddy Peralta Shines in Debut

Freddy Peralta may not have been a household name in Milwaukee before Sunday, May 13th. He’s certainly on its way to becoming one, however, after the rookie pitcher’s phenomenal debut performance.

The story behind Peralta’s first appearance with the big-league club is ready-made for a major motion picture. Peralta’s family had flown from the Dominican Republic to watch him pitch as a professional for the first time, as Peralta was scheduled to pitch for the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs on Saturday. As fate would have it, Chase Anderson came down with a stomach bug Friday evening, creating the need for the recall of a starting pitcher to make Sunday’s start in Denver against the Rockies. Peralta got the nod, and his family got the upgrade from seeing their son in a run-of-the-mill minor league game to the bright lights of his major-league debut.

The 21-year-old looked noticeably nervous facing his first batter – reigning National League batting champ D.J. Lemahieu. He started off with three straight balls before fighting back to strike Lemahieu out on a fastball spotted perfectly on the inside corner. It was mostly smooth sailing from there, as Peralta proceeded to strike out four of the next five batters he faced, including MLB All-Stars Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado. When it was all said and done, Peralta would end up allowing his first and only hit in the bottom half of the sixth before being removed at 98 pitches while having struck out 13 hitters in 5 and 2/3 innings.

Peralta’s winning formula on Sunday was simple – pound the corners with his deceptive fastball. Sound familiar? It is basically the same plan Josh Hader followed in his first few major-league appearances. Peralta used his fastball on 90 of his 98 pitches, averaging 93.2 mph and reaching back for 96.6 mph at his peak (via Brooks Baseball). He got great movement on the pitch, as he caused 18 whiffs despite not offering premium velocity. He also displayed a sharp slider with good bite that struck out Carlos Gonzalez in the second inning. Surprisingly, Peralta did not throw any change-ups, which by many accounts has the potential to be an above-average pitch.

So, where does Peralta fit into the Brewers’ plans going forward? That is a great question for which the answer may be entirely unknown at this point. With Chase Anderson certainly coming back into the rotation after he can be reinstated from the 10-day DL, there is not a clear vacancy for Peralta to fill, though he likely could stay in Milwaukee and take over the rotation spot that Brandon Woodruff currently occupies after the injuries to Wade Miley and Zach Davies. The decision of keeping Peralta with the big-league club versus sending him back to Colorado Springs for more seasoning likely will hinge on how he and Woodruff perform in their next performances, with the Brent Suter’s prospective outing playing a role as well. If Peralta puts on another show like today, Craig Counsell will have to grasp for any reason not to keep him in the Cream City for the time being.

Despite the questions surrounding what the future may bring, one thing is for certain: Peralta breathed life into a middling rotation on Sunday. The Brewers’ starters rank 21st out of 30 teams in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) with 1.2. The bullpen has been shouldering a disproportionate load of this pitching staff’s success, and if Peralta can utilize his electric stuff on a consistent basis, that could go a long way in narrowing the gap between the two units and furthering the Brewers as a legitimate threat for the NL Central crown.

Brewers Week In Review: 6/13-6/18

6/13-6/15: @ St. Louis Cardinals

Record: 3-1

Results: 6-0 L/8-5 W (doubleheader), 7-6 W, 6-4 W

Star of the Series: Keon Broxton (4-for-11 (.363), 2 HR, 5 RBI)

As a result of the rainout on May 3rd, the Brewers had to play two to open the series against the Cardinals. The first game began on a rather interesting note, as recent call-up Brandon Woodruff was to make a spot start in his major league debut, only to injure his hamstring while warming up. Thankfully, while he was only on 25 minutes notice, Brent Suter was available to pitch as he was the 26th man on the roster for the Crew. While both Suter and the offense would struggle, the second leg of the day, as well as the rest of the series, provided offensive fireworks for Milwaukee. Behind six home runs over the final three games, including two each by Eric Thames and Keon Broxton, the Brewers were able to secure their second series win in St. Louis this season after not having won a single series against them in several seasons.

6/16-6/18: vs. San Diego Padres

Record: 2-1

Results: 6-5 W, 7-5 L, 2-1 W

Star of the Series: Jimmy Nelson (9.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 10 K in win Sunday)

The Brew Crew was decked out in blue during this series, as MLB celebrated Father’s Day with uniforms and caps tinged with the color to mark the occasion. The Brewers certainly delivered on this day as Hernan Perez and Manny Pina, both fathers themselves, hit home runs in the same inning to deliver the deciding 2-1 margin. Meanwhile, Jimmy Nelson put together arguably the best game of his Brewers career, throwing his first complete game while striking out 10 Padres, including two batters in a 1-2-3 ninth inning to seal the win.

NL Central Standings Update (as of 6/20/17)

  1. Milwaukee Brewers: 38-34
  2. Chicago Cubs: 35-34 1.5 GB
  3. Pittsburgh Pirates: 32-38 5.0 GB
  4. Louis Cardinals: 31-37 5.0 GB
  5. Cincinnati Reds: 30-39 6.5 GB

Transactions

6/19: Brewers released RHP Neftali Feliz http://www.foxsports.com/wisconsin/story/milwaukee-brewers-neftali-feliz-released-061917