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Tuesday, September 17th 2019
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Brewers Week In Review: 6/19-6/25

The Brewers came into the week with their division lead over Chicago intact and riding high off of two straight series victories the previous week. However, this would be much more of a roller coaster week for the Crew, as they went just 3-4, but also kept their spot atop the Central (1.5 games up as of 6/26). After dropping the first two games of a four-game set to Pittsburgh at Miller Park, a defensive masterpiece by Orlando Arcia followed by a 3-RBI game by Travis Shaw saved the series split for the Crew. Then, in their first visit to the newly christened SunTrust Park for a series with the Braves, Milwaukee took a couple of hard losses before the bats exploded in the series finale with a 7-0 beatdown of Julio Teheran and the Braves, as all 7 runs came in the first four innings.

Now, having recapped the previous week for the Brewers, it’s time for a look at the week ahead.

The Week Ahead

Upcoming series: @ Cincinnati (6/27-6/29), vs. Miami (6/30-7/2)

Pitching matchups @ Cincinnati: Junior Guerra (1-1, 3.11 ERA) vs. Tim Adleman (4-4, 4.30 ERA); Chase Anderson (6-2, 2.92 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (0-0, 3.60 ERA); Jimmy Nelson (5-4, 3.50 ERA) vs. Homer Bailey (0-1, 43.20 ERA)

Pitching matchups vs. Miami: All starters TBA

Players to Watch: Ryan Braun and Chase Anderson

Weekly Awards

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

Winner: Orlando Arcia

Up until this season, Orlando Arcia was widely regarded as the most promising prospect in a Milwaukee Brewers system known for its share of promising prospects. While his fielding has been on full display this season (see the game-ending web gem from June 21st against the Pirates), but his bat has also started to come around. After entering the Pirates series last Monday at .254 on the season, Arcia enters a new stretch of games hitting .268 following a nice 9-for-22 week. Not to mention, though it came in a loss, he also hit an inside-the-park home run, and what gets more “balls to the wall” than that?

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

Winner: Travis Shaw

Once again, Travis Shaw’s recent performance at the plate has Milwaukee fans everywhere saying “Thank You, Boston!” Shaw continued to show why he is deserving of representing the Crew in Miami for the 2017 All-Star game. While the Brewers as a whole had a relatively up and down week, Shaw had a very solid 7 games, hitting 3 home runs and adding 6 RBIs to bring his season totals in those categories to 15 and 53, respectively. His two-run blast Sunday against Atlanta was particularly impressive, as the third baseman hit a bomb to right field that hit on top of a concourse restaurant, a spot which a ball had not reached yet this year at SunTrust Park.

The Ben Sheets Award for Best Heat (Best Pitcher)

Winner: Corey Knebel

While Chase Anderson’s start against Pittsburgh in the series finale (6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K) was certainly impressive, it is the man who has been Milwaukee’s most shutdown pitcher all year that gets the nod. While Knebel was not as dominant in terms of strikeouts as has been expected this season (2 Ks in 2.0 IP), he still found his way into Major League history. With his strikeout of Josh Bell in Thursday’s victory, Knebel passed Aroldis Chapman for the MLB record of consecutive games with a strikeout as a reliever to start a season at 38 (Chapman’s record was 37). Will Knebel continue his streak in the weeks and possibly months to come? When will it end, or will it end at all? These are questions that will soon be answered, but for now, we will continue to watch.

Prospect Update

AAA: Colorado Springs

Brett Phillips (Brewers No. 10 Prospect): .281, 14 2B, 5 3B, 12 HR, 47 RBI, 2 SB

Ryan Cordell (Brewers No. 16 Prospect): .282, 18 2B, 5 3B, 10 HR, 45 RBI, 9 SB

AA: Biloxi Shuckers

Luis Ortiz (Brewers No. 4 Prospect): 3-3, 3.02 ERA, 53.2 IP, 49 K, 24 BB, 1.10 WHIP, .189 Opponent AVG

Mauricio Dubon (Brewers No. 9 Prospect): .276, 14 2B, 2 HR, 24 RBI, 31 SB

Corbin Burnes (Brewers No. 20 Prospect): 2-0, 0.76 ERA, 23.2 IP, 26 K, 5 BB, 0.63 WHIP, .128 AVG

A: Carolina Mudcats/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

Corey Ray (Brewers No. 2 Prospect): .262, 16 2B, 4 HR, 29 RBI, 17 SB at A Adv Carolina

Mario Feliciano (Brewers No. 23 Prospect): .257, 10 2B, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 4 SB at A Wisconsin

Jake Gatewood (Brewers No. 25 Prospect): .288, 23 2B, 10 HR, 37 RBI, 6 SB at A Adv Carolina

Trey Supak (Brewers No. 29 Prospect): 2-2, 1.76 ERA, 41.0 IP, 53 K, 10 BB, 1.61 WHIP at Adv A Carolina

 

What It’s Like Being a Milwaukee Sports Fan

The city of Milwaukee is one of if not the most tortured sports cities in America.  If you take away the Packers (who play in Green Bay), the city has 2 teams that have combined for a single championship.  The Bucks won that championship in 1971.  In 1982 the Brewers made the World Series, but lost.  The Cream City has gone 46 years without a league championship.

What’s interesting is despite the drought, Milwaukee fans are among the best in sports.  They are very knowledgeable about the games the teams play, they are incredibly friendly, and they are committed to their teams.  You can get into an hour-long conversation about basketball at a Bucks game.  Even Cubs fans will get invited to a tailgate at Miller Park during the I-94 Rivalry series.  Above all, the love the people of Milwaukee have for their teams is unmatched.

You would expect fans to either not care or switch to more successful teams after decades of losing, but that is not the case in Milwaukee.  Even when the Bucks were the NBA’s punchline the players were showered with affection.  That stays true today with a rising team.  Giannis Antetokounmpo is becoming one of the most loved athletes in Wisconsin.  As for the Brewers, ever since they came into existence they have had great attendance.  Going to a Brewers game is almost a sacred tradition in Milwaukee.  In 2008 and 2011 the entire state was going crazy about the Brewers.  The 2011 Brewers had some of the most lovable and fun players ever.  I can clearly remember one day at school in 2008.  We had over an hour until the final bell, but the teachers decided the learning could wait.  We watched the beginning of the Brewers game vs the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Brewers had been losing for years, but for a few days in the fall of 2008, nothing was more important than cheering on the Crew.  I was so excited when they won a game in that series.  Even though they lost the series, that will always be one of my favorite memories of the Brewers.  My favorite is the Nyjer Morgan walk off that got the Brewers into the NLCS.

Another major part of being a Milwaukee sports fan is realizing that your teams get no coverage in the national media.  If you watch Sportscenter or any other national sports show, you can easily go a couple of weeks without seeing the Bucks or Brewers be discussed on there.  Even now with a very exciting Brewers team and a rising star on the Bucks, very little attention is being paid to Milwaukee’s teams.  Believe it or not, I’m fine with that.  I don’t want a media circus distracting our players.  We saw what happened with Ryan Braun a few years ago.  I don’t want that to ever happen again.

Being a fan of Milwaukee sports is not easy.  We haven’t seen a championship in 46 years.  Our teams get no respect anywhere outside of Wisconsin.  Even with the history of losing that has been synonymous with “Milwaukee sports”, now is a very exciting time to be a fan.  The Bucks are on the rise.  The playoff series against Toronto showed that the Bucks can win, they just need a little more experience.  Once they get that, the NBA better watch out.  The Brewers have promising young players like Orlando Arcia.  They are still rebuilding, but this year they are in 1st place in the NL Central and are looking like more than just a rebuilding team.  In a couple of years, we could see them not just compete for the playoffs, but possibly the division and beyond.  For years now both teams have talked about the future.  It’s clear the future is coming soon, and when it does we could see a new era of Milwaukee sports.  It will be a fun ride, and I’m ready for it.

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

King of the Diamond- Week of 6/12-6/18

If this is your first time checking out King of the Diamond pieces, here’s what you can look forward to seeing:

Every Monday we will look at which Milwaukee Brewer stood out from a game changing performance, or provided consistent production over the previous week. We will do the same for one other player within the NL Central (Cardinals, Cubs, Reds, Pirates).

The Brewers put together an impressive 5-2 week with series wins over the San Diego Padres and divisional-rival St. Louis Cardinals. Milwaukee’s bullpen continues to be a large question mark, but the offense was able to bail the bullpen out on multiple occasions.

King of the Diamond- Eric Thames

Image result for eric thames

The surprise of the year continues to thrash opposing pitchers and therefore wins this week’s diamond award. This past week Thames notched dingers in four straight games, including a go-ahead home run in the ninth to beat the Cardinals and a walk off home run to defeat the Padres 6-5 in 10 innings. Thames now has 20 bombs on the year and should have no problem reaching 40 by the end of the season.

King of the Diamond- Dexter Fowler, St. Louis Cardinals

Image result for dexter fowler

After being a huge disappointment to begin the season, Fowler appears to have found his stroke. Over the past week, he has seen his season batting average spike from .230 to .254. Similar to Thames, he has homered in four straight games and now leads his team with 13 home runs. The Cardinals have had a sub-par year sitting six games under .500 but only 5.5 games behind Milwaukee for the division lead. Fowler finding his stroke will be huge down the road for the Cards if he can keep things going.

Breakout Brewers: Domingo Santana

Standing surprisingly as one of the longest tenured players on the roster, the Brewers originally acquired Domingo Santana as part of the 2015 deadline blockbuster deal that sent Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers to the Astro in return for Santana and prospects Brett Phillips, Josh Hader, and Adrian Houser. After an injury mired 2016 season left him with only 77 games played (.256/.345/.447, 11 HR), Santana needed to show Milwaukee his worth in 2017 to guarantee a spot in their future plans, especially with the barrage of high-level outfield prospects coming through the system. Thus far in the season, Santana has capitalized on his breakout potential, and is looking like an integral piece moving forward.

Wisconsin Sitdowns: Caden Lemons

Caden Lemon’s was the Brewers 3rd draft pick in the MLB draft which started this Monday. He is an 18 year old 6’6″ Right Hander from Alabama. 

Q: Has baseball always been your main sport?

A: Yeah for sure ever since I was a kid.

Q: Were you always a pitcher?

A: Yeah always since we were allowed to pitch.

Q: When did it start to become reality that you would not only get drafted but go on the first day?

A: It has always been a goal since my junior year, as a family we weren’t sure it would be the first day, but we were happy about it and it’s a huge honor.

Q: What do you feel your strengths are as a pitcher?

Lemons has hit 97 on a radar gun and could be a future stud for Milwaukee.

A: My competitiveness, how much I want to play, my will to win and the fact that I always want to be out on the mound.

Q: Have you ever been to Wisconsin?

A: I have not, the furthest north I have ever been is Chicago.

Q: Did you have a feeling the Brewers would be the team to pick you?

A: I had a meeting in Biloxi, but was trying keep an open mind.

Q: What do you feel you need to improve on to be successful?

A: You can always improve on anything in my mind. I want to work with the coaches in the minor leagues and eventually pitch for Milwaukee.

Q: What kind of player do you seek to emulate?

A: No not exactly, I believe everyone is different and why model your game after someone that is not you. If you make yourself the best you can be that is your best route to success.

Q: Do you have a pitcher you think is most similar to you?

A: Not really, people have told me Noah Syndergaard, but I think that is more because of the hair and being tall.

Q: Do you ever plan on cutting your hair?

A: Absolutely not.

Q: What is it like to be graduating high school one week and on the brink of being a professional athlete the next?

Lemons spoke at length about how his work ethic was a key piece of his success.

A: It is kind of what you plan your life for and what I worked for throughout senior season. It was a huge honor, but in the back of my head this is what I worked for and put in the time for. It is amazing to reach your goals.

Q: Do you have a favorite game you have played in?

A: The game at Thompson High School this year. It was to make it into the playoffs, we were down 1-0, I pitched game 2 and we won that to force a game 3.

 Q: If you debuted tomorrow what would your walkout song be?

A: Ooh that’s hard probably Gyalchester by Drake.

The Lost Ones: How Segura, Khris and Scooter have left their imprint away from Milwaukee

In recent weeks, I’ve been contemplating as to whether this article should excuse itself from eternal shuteye, and, therefore, come out. All it took was a few chyrons, frenzied tickers, and a collection of perusals in the daily newspaper, to not only see the Ruth-like season that rookie Aaron Judge has put together for the Bronx Bombers but also see how proliferative the stat lines have been for Cincinnati Reds utility man Scooter Gennett, Seattle Mariners second baseman Jean Segura and Oakland A’s leftfielder Khris Davis.

There was a time when the Milwaukee Brewers lineup didn’t boast top prospects (Lewis Brinson, Orlando Arica, and Brett Phillips), and one doesn’t have to scavenge too much to find it.

Before the seismic renovation to the Brewers organization, one that culminated in the coronating of a new general manager and included the abandonment of, nearly, any longish-tenured player at positions ripe with younger talent, Segura was looked at as an asset, Gennett a fan-favorite, and Davis a player who could swing a mean stick, despite his swing-and-miss rate, in the Brew City. Outwardly, this troika would cement their names on the Brewers’ lineup card for the next decade, well after the baggage and superstardom of Ryan Braun dissipated…, or so we in the Badger state thought.

But, how did the Brewers unload a slugger, Davis, who now ranks in his respective league top-10 in RBIs, top five with 17 round trippers this season? How about the on-base machine, Segura, who ranks second in the American League with .342 batting average? Finally, what about Gennett, who is less than a fortnight removed from hitting four homers and 10 (no, that’s not a typo) RBIs in one game? He is also on pace to shatter his personal season-high for combined Wins Above Replacement (WAR) in a season (1.1 this year; best is 2.2).

It all began with the rapid ascension of Segura, after his award-winning stint in the Dominican Winter League, following the 2012 season, and subsequent All-Star nod months later in his first full big-league season. The hardball cognoscenti thought that he was the straw that would stir the drink for Milwaukee, whose team, at that time were about a year removed from savoring champagne…almost.

Contention looked somewhat realistic after the Crew felt justified in Segura’s production, after acquiring him for Zack Grienke. In ’13, the young shortstop hit .294, swiped 44 bases and amassed 10 triples, all while buttressing the notion he was an above-average defender.

Below the surface, though, the Brewers had another tenderfoot at shortstop, Orlando Arcia, who was unearthing some gaudy flashes of leather as a member of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the Brewers’ Class A affiliate.

After being optioned to the Nashville Sounds (the Brewers’ then Triple-A affiliate) early on in his rookie season, Khris Davis took over in left field for the suspended Ryan Braun. His play was inspiring enough to oust Nori Aoki, who was eventually traded to Kansas City in 2014, from his everyday role. Davis’ success also made Braun switch fields, this time playing in right.

After spring training in 2014, Manager Ron Roenicke put second baseman Rickie Weeks in a platoon with Gennett, before deciding to the Gennett the upper hand and a cemented place in the starting lineup.

Gennett hit .289, found his niche as a responsible, versatile defender, and had innumerable fans baying over him, mostly due to his boyish charm and peculiar nickname.

The whole league was put on notice by the Brewers, a team spent that spent 131 days atop the NL Central, with a nucleus consisting of pitch-framing extraordinaire and dead-eye hitter Jonathan Lucroy; Khris Davis, who was becoming a very consistent power threat at the backend of the lineup; Braun; the comfortable Gennettl and Segura.

The Brewers, as had been the case since the turn of the millennium, found a path of turbulence, however, following the All-Star break. Ropes kept getting shorter in the abyss, and a 9-17 September placed them third in the division. Following 2014, unquestioned ace and all-time strikeout leader of the Brewers, Yovani Gallardo, was dealt to the Texas Rangers in exchange for reliever Corey Knebel, infielder Luis Sardiñas and pitching prospect Marcos Diplan.

In July 2015, the fire sale continued with another team in the Lone Star state — this time with the Astros — and the trade of centerfielder Carlos Gomez and pitcher Mike Fiers, both of whom were 29, was consummated. The Brewers were 14 games under .500 by the midsummer classic, plagued by inconsistent hitting, porous defense and a 4.28 team ERA (seventh worst in the majors) by season’s end. They finished fourth in the NL Central. That October, former assistant general manager of the Astros and sabermetric enthusiast, David Stearns, shed his assistant tag and darted to Milwaukee to become the team’s new general manager.

Segura was slumping — his batting average regressed in the two seasons following his All-Star campaign. His WAR was at an even zero – usually the output of a reserve. A change of scenery was necessary, as his age-25 season mucked the future. Remember that line about Segura being that straw that stirred the drink? The Brewers concluded they were better off chugging that drink, tossing the straw to the wolves (or, in this case, the Arizona Diamondbacks), and carrying on, specifically with trading players.

After parting with ways with Lucroy, Carlos Gomez, and all the aforementioned recent five-year legends who have graced the grass and dirt of Miller Park, the Brewers somehow find themselves in the conversation for the postseason, at least as of June 14. The continued success of former Brewers has been stunted, for the most part (discounting the unfair injury that took Prince Fielder’s career, of course); yet, Segura finished 13th in the NL MVP race for the lowly Diamondbacks last season. Khris Davis hit over 40 homers last year, to go with 100 RBIs. Gennett, statistically the least talented of the three, has still been a great fielder for Cincinnati.

Perhaps, the Brewers are great at scouting skilled players but the market (see the once-stalled Segura contract extensions) they’re in has shortchanged any potential for one to see a grassroots prospect climb the ladder of greatness, cleanly. Will Brinson, Phillips and the slew of acquired prospects rumbling under in the realm of A ball be worth the trade off?

Sadly, as is the case with all sports-related arguments and assertions, time will tell.

Brewers Draft Review: Day 1

More than 1/3 of the MLB season is now behind us, the All-Star Game is just about a month away (vote Brewers) and with the NBA Finals having come to an end, it is officially baseball’s time to shine. That began Monday, which brought with it the first day of the 2017 MLB Draft. The second draft for Brewers GM David Stearns began with a heavily offensive minded first day.

Round 1 (9th overall): Keston Hiura, 2B, University of California-Irvine

Slot Value: $4,570,000

Physical Tools: 6’0”, 180 pounds

Pre-Draft Rankings: #22 by MLB.com, #20 by Baseball America, #15 by Minor League Ball

Grade Tools (All by MLBPipeline; based on 20-80 scale): Hit 60  Power 50  Run 50  Arm 45  Field 45 Overall 50

Last Season Stats: .442/.567/.693, 199 AB, 88 H, 24 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 42 RBI, 9 SB

Strengths: Contact Hitting, Great discipline at the plate (38 K to 50 BB), Quick/compact swing that finds the ball easily with underrated power

Weaknesses: Fielding/Arm Strength (both 45 graded), possible durability issues (elbow injury that may require Tommy John surgery)

Analysis: After watching film on Hiura, I was very impressed by his swing and hitting ability. Some scouts have rated his hitting as high as 70 on the 20-80 scale and say that his bat is close to Major League ready. The concerns with his elbow may have turned some off to him in the draft, but David Stearns seemingly feels that Hiura can be a strong asset for the Brewers in the future, if not just as a potentially great bat.

Competitive Balance Round A (34th overall): Tristen Lutz, OF, Martin High School (TX)

Slot Value: $1,983,600

Physical Tools: 6’3”, 210 pounds

Pre-Draft Rankings: #34 by MLB.com, #62 by Baseball America, #42 by Minor League Ball

Tool Grades: Hit 50  Power 55  Run 50  Arm 60  Field 55

Stats not found as of writing

Strengths: Good body/physical tools, great arm, versatility (played multiple outfield positions in high school)

Weaknesses: Less of a power hitter than contact hitter, not the best runner for the outfield position

Analysis: A prospect with varying rankings prior to the draft, Lutz will bring a raw power bat and a strong arm to the Brewers system. In a system that is loaded with outfielders, he may need to wait longer than he may like to reach the Major League level, his tool grades provide a reason to believe he can be very successful. A great baseball body along with being just 18 years old out of high school (19 in August), look for Tristen Lutz to potentially make a quick rise up the Brewers minor league ranks.

Round 2 (46th overall): Caden Lemons, RHP, Vestavia Hills High School (AL)

Slot Value: $1,493,500

Physical Tools: 6’6”, 175 pounds

Pre-Draft Rankings: #77 by MLB.com, #57 by Baseball America, #70 by Minor League Ball

Tool Grades: Fastball 65  Slider 50  Curveball 45  Changeup 50  Control 45  Overall 45

Stats not found as of writing

Strengths: Tall at 6’6”, plus fastball which can top out at 97 MPH, great potential if fulfilled

Weaknesses: Lanky frame, inconsistent form, sometimes weak command due to form, average-to-above-average second pitches

Analysis: Lemons’ lanky frame and solid pitch arsenal bring similar comparisons to recent Brewers call-up Josh Hader. If he is able to put some more muscle on his frame and gain a solid amount of weight, he may be able to reach triple digits and make his fastball even more of an asset for him. However, like Hader, he is going to need to improve his command if he is going to be successful. Will he be successful? Well, we can only hope he follows in the footsteps of last year’s #46 pick, Lucas Erceg in that department.

Brewers Week In Review: 6/5-6/11

6/5-6/8: vs. San Francisco Giants

Record: 2-2

Results: 7-2 L, 5-2 W, 6-3 W, 9-5 L

Star of the Series: Eric Sogard (7-for-13 (.538), 3 RBI)

Just as in the Dodgers series, many Brewers fans would have likely been happy with a split against the San Francisco Giants in this series. However, with the combination of Milwaukee in first place, the Giants coming in near the bottom of the NL West and the Crew avoiding Madison Bumgarner (injury), a series win was definitely within reach and easier to come by than usual against this team. Junior Guerra had another solid start since his return in game one, only allowing 1 earned run over 5 innings. However, the bullpen let the game slip away, as 5 runs over the final two innings sealed the Crew’s fate in the 7-2 loss. That same bullpen also left fans at Miller Park with a scare the next night, as the Giants scored two runs in the 9th inning off of Carlos Torres and had runners on first and second with nobody out before Corey Knebel came in and finished the job.

6/9-6/11: @ Arizona Diamondbacks

Record: 1-2

Results: 8-6 W, 3-2 L, 11-1 L

Star of the Series: Hernan Perez (3-for-11 (.273), 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, SB)

Exactly two weeks after the Diamondbacks came to town in late May, Milwaukee traveled to Chase Field for a weekend 3-game set in Phoenix. Playing in one of the best hitter’s parks in MLB, the Brewers were relatively shut down. After an 8-run, 14-hit performance in game 1, they tallied a total of 3 runs and 6 hits in the next two games behind pitching gems by Arizona starters Zack Godley and Robbie Ray. Hernan Perez added two home runs to his season total, which now stands at 9. The bullpen also continued to struggle, giving up 9 hits and 10 runs in just 2 innings on Sunday. However, this series provided a glimpse into the future, as both top pitching prospect Josh Hader and top hitting prospect Lewis Brinson made their much anticipated Major League debuts.

NL Central Standings Update (as of 6/12/17)

  1. Milwaukee Brewers: 33-31
  2. Chicago Cubs: 31-31 1 GB
  3. Louis Cardinals: 29-32 2.5 GB
  4. Cincinnati Reds: 29-33 3 GB
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates: 28-35 4.5 GB

Transactions

6/5: Boston Red sox trade SS Yeison Coca to Brewers; Placed 3B Travis Shaw on paternity list; Recalled CF Brett Phillips from AAA Colorado Springs

6/7: Activated 3B Travis Shaw from paternity list; Placed Matt Garza on 10-day DL (chest contusion)

6/8: Optioned CF Brett Phillips to AAA Colorado Springs; Recalled RHP Paolo Espino from AAA Colorado Springs

6/9: Placed 3B Travis Shaw on bereavement list; Brett Phillips assigned to Milwaukee from AAA Colorado Springs; Recalled LHP Josh Hader from AAA Colorado Springs; Optioned RHP Paolo Espino to AAA Colorado Springs

6/10: Recalled OF Lewis Brinson from AAA Colorado Springs; Placed 2B Jonathan Villar on 10-day DL (lower back strain)

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).