Cleat Geeks

Milwaukee Brewers Home Stand and Trade Deadline Observations

The Starting Rotation had a great home stand: In a 10 game home stand the Brewers were slated to go through their rotation completely twice. The entire rotation was excellent over the ten games as no starter allowed more than three earned runs. The top of the rotation has been passable for most of the season but the fact that the bottom of the rotation came up with four decent but not deep outings is a positive for the pitching staff.
MillerPark

Even when rebuilding, home domination of the Pittsburgh Pirates continues: Thanks to the justly completed sweep of the Pirates the Brewers are 64-17 against the Pirates at home since 2007.

 

Photo by: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Photo by: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The rebuilding Brewers are doing well at home: The Brewers put a solid home stand together with a record of 7-3 including wins in 6 of the final 7. They have a rather impressive home record of 30-25 despite being a considerable distance under the 500 mark on the road.

 

Kirk Nieuwenhuis is quite comfortable at Miller Park: I have been around baseball for a while now and I have never seen home road splits as drastically different as those of Nieuwenhuis. He is hitting .311 at home and .116 on the road. He has also hit 9 of his 10 home runs on the season while hitting at home.

 

Another rough defensive home stand: The Brewers have now committed 81 errors in the first 103 games. While the defense has been poor most of the season things went to a new level of ugly on Wednesday night. The Brewers committed five errors Wednesday night three of those occurred in the first inning, with two of those occurring on the same play. The five errors marked the most errors in a game by the Brewers since September 27, 2007. The errors are occurring for a wide range of reasons. The reasons range from people trying to do too much on a particular play to doing things too quickly. This is a young team but team defense is clearly an area where significant improvement is needed.

Photoby:Roy Dabner

Photoby:Roy Dabner

 

Jonathan Villar gets a seat: Villar has the third highest batting average on the roster and he is the team leader in overall hits as well as stolen bases. He has however been frustrating fans as also leads the team in errors and caught stealing.That combination again came through Wednesday night. Vilar was responsible for two fielding errors in the opening inning followed by a key base running mistake when the Brewers were down 5-0. Craig Counsell decided it was time to teach Villar a lesson and removed him from the game for the remainder of Wednesday night and Thursday as well. The Brewers want Villar to be aggressive but they also need him to be smart. Seeing him get thrown out attempting to steal with the team down 5-0 is a poor decision given the situation. Counsell was teaching his leadoff hitter a lesson in baseball smarts and situational awareness with a nearly two game benching. We will see if it is lesson learned or not.

 

Lucroy, Jeffress, Smith all traded prior to Monday’s trade deadline: The Indians thought they had a deal in place to get Lucroy Saturday night but he had an eight team no trade list and the Indians were one of the teams, so he could block any trade attempt. By Sunday morning Lucroy, who will be a free agent after next season, did indeed block the Indians deal. The reason of the rejection is up for debate but the likely range from money to playing time depending on what you believe. The Brewer front office went back to work and traded Lucroy and Jeffress to the Rangers by Monday afternoon. The Brewers received two prospects in return (an outfielder and a pitcher). The Brewers also sent Smith to the Giants for a pitching and catching prospect. Some Brewers fans do not like these trades because fans get emotionally attached to players and that is understandable. But the Brewers took advantage of a good relief pitching market in moving both relievers. Lucroy also had to be traded as he is a catcher who is over 30 and was a year plus from free agency. So for those reasons his value would never be higher to the Brewers. As far as evaluating the trades and prospects to the Brewers in return, the prospects are highly ranked and have talent and potential. They need to be given time to develop. The success or failure of the trades will be a discussion for several years down the road.

 

Bottom Line: The team put together a solid home stand on the field despite many distractions in relationship to trade rumors. Counsell and DavidSternsthe coaching staff deserve credit for that. Do the trades make the Brewers worse this season? Absolutely unquestionably YES. But Brewer fans must remember it was NEVER about this season. Wins and losses did matter in April per say, they don’t matter now, and they won’t matter to a final record in two months. No, this season is about getting talent back into the farm system. This is year one (or maybe year two) of a multiyear rebuilding effort. Brewer fans have to trust David Stearns for the long term well-being of this organization. Losses will come in bunches in the short term, likely through next season, but with trust and patience from the fans I believe Stearns has the plan and knowledge to lead the Brewers to better results and one day back into the playoffs of October. Good things come to those who wait Brewers fans!!!

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