Results tagged ‘ Yovani Gallardo ’

2014 Milwaukee Brewers 25-Man Roster Projection

Milwaukee Brewers

We’re on the precipice of Opening Day, but there are still some decisions awaiting the front office staff of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Most pressing, if not most important, is how they will construct the 25-man roster to begin the 2014 regular season. In this, they’ve got some options.

Let’s assume a couple of things off the top here. First, a standard 13 hitter, 12 pitcher roster split. Second, that we’re all aware that things will change throughout the season and plenty of the players who don’t make the Opening Day roster will don a Brewers uniform at some point in 2014.

I’ll lay out the different roster groupings and then explain what went into my decisions thereafter. Cool?

With that, to the list!

Starting Pitchers (5)

  • Yovani Gallardo
  • Kyle Lohse
  • Marco Estrada
  • Matt Garza
  • Wily Peralta

I did my best educated guess at the order here too. It was announced that Gallardo has Opening Day honors and that Lohse will follow in Game 2. It was also hinted that Garza could pitch the opener in Boston, but that isn’t for sure yet…at least not publicly. Couple that with how well Estrada has pitched and he’s the superior choice against Atlanta in Game 3 than is Peralta.

The wrinkle here is that the Brewers have the opportunity to start the season with four starters because of the off-days scheduled. They don’t need a fifth starting pitcher until mid-April. If they do that, Peralta would start with Nashville to stay on rotation.

Relief Pitchers (7)

(with one more starting on DL)

  • Jim Henderson
  • Francisco Rodriguez
  • Will Smith*
  • Brandon Kintzler
  • Wei-Chung Wang*
  • Rob Wooten
  • Alfredo Figaro (Alternative: Tyler Thornburg)
  • Tom Gorzelanny* (DL)

Henderson is the incumbent closer. Rodriguez was brought in on a MLB deal and has the longest track record out of any of the options. Smith has been great this spring after being acquired in trade. Kintzler was very good last year and has a spot locked up. Wang makes it in part because of how well he’s thrown but also because of the Rule V circumstances. Wooten pitched well enough in his time last year that he gets one of my “open” jobs. He’s certainly in a fungible position, though, as he’s got minor league options remaining.

For the final active spot, I’m going with Alfredo Figaro. I know that Tyler Thornburg is under consideration for that job, but I think that they’ll realize that he’s more valuable staying stretched out at Nashville in order to cover the inevitable first injury to the starting rotation than he is in pitching at best every other day in Milwaukee as the long man. Figaro filled the long relief role admirably last year as his stuff played up out of the bullpen.

Wooten, Figaro, and Thornburg all have at least one minor league option remaining so there’s no real consideration of roster depth when making any decisions concering the three. And I think we’ll be seeing all of them pitch at Miller Park in 2014 at one point or another.

As for non-roster invitee Zach Duke, I think that the Brewers have liked what they’ve seen but with Wang making good (so far), there really isn’t room for Duke to begin the season. The veteran lefty is on a minor-league deal, so most likely he’ll simply be assigned to Nashville to start.

Catchers (2)

  • Jonathan Lucroy
  • Martin Maldonado

They’re the only two on the 40-man and that’s because they’re the two best in the organization. Nothing more needs to be said here.

Infielders (7)

  • Mark Reynolds
  • Rickie Weeks
  • Jean Segura
  • Aramis Ramirez
  • Juan Francisco** (Alternative: Lyle Overbay)
  • Scooter Gennett**
  • Jeff Bianchi (Alternative: Elian Herrera)

Reynolds was signed to a minor-league deal for roster considerations at the time. He’s got a job. Weeks is the longest-tenured player in the organization right now and isn’t moveable (yet). Segura and Ramirez are obvious inclusions. Gennett comes along if they go with two second basemen, which has been the hottest talk of late.

Despite all the talk to the contrary lately, I still think that if they must choose between them, Francisco’s potential, relative youth, power, and increased patience this spring outweight Overbay’s veteran savvy, locker room presence, and far superior defense. That said, I can absolutely see a scenario in which they trade Francisco for an asset and keep Overbay. Maybe I’m projecting Francisco simply out of hope.

The other hotly contested job has been the utility infielder role. Jeff Bianchi filled the role last year with middling success. The biggest challenger to Bianchi’s incumbency has been the 40-man rostered Elian Herrera, who was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers over the winter. They’ve both hit, they both have defensive versatility. The differences that matter: Bianchi is a better defender at shortstop. Herrera is a much more natural outfielder (which is big when you’ve only got four rostered). Herrera is a switch hitter. Bianchi is out of options; Herrera has one remaining. It is that last point that I think will be the deciding factor. Herrera will start at Nashville and would absolutley be the first man called upon should an injury befall any infielder on the big league roster.

For the record: Should they decide that they can forego two second basemen to start the year to even the roster out a bit a more, I think Herrera make the club over a fifth true outfielder.

Outfielders (4)

  • Khris Davis
  • Carlos Gomez
  • Ryan Braun
  • Logan Schafer**

Another easy prediction. Schafer could see some time starting in left field, but as the only man on the projected roster that can backup centerfield, he’ll likely be providing coverage from the bench more often than not.

* - Throws left-handed
** - Bats left-handed
---

So there you have it.

I welcome feedback and want to hear your opinions. Do you agree? Disagree? Think I’m overlooking an important detail or better player? Look down there…a “Comments” section.

Legends of the Field Giveaway Number 1

LOTF

I tweeted this a couple of days ago…

And here are the details and instructions on how to participate (and possibly win!).

  1. Be following me (like you probably already do) on Twitter: @BrewerNation
  2. Be following Legends of the Field (like you should be) on Twitter: @lotfautographs

If you already follow both of us, you’re already entered! Otherwise, accomplish both of those goals by 11:59pm CST on Friday, March 7, 2014 and you’re entered to win. It really is that simple. You’ll be entered to win one of four signed 8×10 photos.

However, what you can also do though is tweet both me and Legends of the Field if you’d like to be considered specifically for one photo over another.

So what are the photos, you ask? Allow me to offer Exhibits A, B, C, D. (I digitally added “smudges” to the computer image so as to discourage downloads/printing. Believe me that the actual photos are beautiful and the signatures are crisp!) If you choose to enter yourself in the drawing for a specific photo, just tweet both of us the letter of the photo you’d like to be entered to win.

We (the Legends of the Field manager and I) will choose the four random winners on Saturday, March 8, 2014 and will announce them publicly here on the blog after we contact you via Twitter direct message. (You must be 18 to win, but if you get selected when we contact you for details on how to ship you your photo, we can deal with a parent or legal guardian.)

brewers_4x_8x10_legends_of_the_field_altered

A: Jean Segura (white)
B: Scooter Gennett
C: Yovani Gallardo
D: Jean Segura (gold)

I realize that anyone can see this post, including in my Facebook and Google+ communities as well as the general internet. This is a “Twitter Only” contest to kick things off. There will be other community-specific contests down the road, but if you want in this time and you don’t have a Twitter account……well, make one and follow us!

Also, keep your eyes open mid-next week for a special opportunity related to this contest.

Thanks for reading, and good luck!

(You can leave any questions in the comments.)

Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers ’14 – #49 Yovani Gallardo

BBtJN Logo

Welcome back to “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers”, my annual countdown to Opening Day.

We’re seven weeks away from tailgating, bunting (both the good kind and likely the reviled kind), cheering, high-fiving, and (if you’re old enough) day-drinking.

That’s all there is left. Just seven weeks. Seven little weeks. And you already know this because of both simply math and the fact that it’s written right there in the title of the column, but seven weeks left multiplied by seven days per week gives us the knowledge that we’re 49 days away.

What you also already know is who wears #49 for the Milwaukee Brewers. He is the longest-tenured Brewers pitcher who wears #49 in honor of his childhood idol Teddy Higuera. He is…

Yovani Gallardo.

YovaniGallardoPhotoDay

I stopped short, just now, of even referring to Gallardo as the “staff ace” in Milwaukee. He’s got the tenure and up until last season consistently performed as the best starting pitcher year in and year out (with the exception of parts of Zack Greinke’s Milwaukee tenure) when he was healthy and on the mound. Such was not the case in 2013.

In fact, 2013 was the overall worst statistical season of Gallardo’s seven as a Brewer. He posted an ERA over 4.00 (4.18) for the first time along with just 144 strikeouts in just 180.2 innings pitched. That dropped his K/9 rate to a career-worst 7.2 and despite his downtick in BB/9, he still finished with a career second-to-worst K/BB of 2.18.

This couldn’t be coming at a worse time for Milwaukee as Gallardo’s base salary jumps by $3.5 million this year. They do hold a club option for 2015 at $13 million with just a $600 thousand buyout. Make no mistake, but even less after signing Matt Garza to a four-year contract: How Gallardo pitches in 2014 has an incredible amount to do with where Gallardo pitches in 2015.

But to this point, it’s all been for the Brewers franchise after being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft. Gallardo signed a month after the draft and pitched for both the Arizona rookie and Beloit Class-A affiliates that year. He posted a 0.47 ERA in six starts in Arizona before the promotion. Gallardo spent all of 2005 with Class-A West Virginia making 18 starts in 26 appearances, mostly with the idea of limiting his innings. Gallardo’s progress was accelerated after that, at least in comparison to most Brewers minor leaguers these days. He split 2006 between Class-A Advanced Brevard County and Class-AA Huntsville. He made 13 starts for each and posted very similar lines at both despite the talent difference at Huntsville. Gallardo started 2007 in Nashville until his mid-June callup to Milwaukee. He hasn’t looked back accept for a short rehab assignment to begin the 2008 season after tearing the meniscus in his left knee that March. He did lose almost all of 2008 anyway to an ACL tear in his right knee (which coincides exactly with the beginning of my sports-hate for Reed Johnson), but had pitched very well since then.

What’s more, Gallardo was a model of consistency in the two years prior to last year. He struck out between 200 and 207 hitters in each of the four years between 2009 and 2012. He pitched 207.1 innings in 2011 with 207 strikeouts and 204.0 innings in 2012 with 204 strikeouts. He allowed 27 home runs in 2011 and 26 homers in 2012. There are more examples, but the only thing with a wild fluctuation between the seasons was Gallardo’s walk total. It was just 59 in 2011 but ballooned to 81 in 2012. But in 2013, Gallardo cut his walks back down to a total of 66 (3.3 BB/9) which wasn’t as good as 2011 (2.6) but still better than 2012 (3.6).

So if it wasn’t the walk rate that torpedoed Gallardo last season, what exactly did happen in 2013?

Part of the answer if that we really don’t know for sure. Despite the advances in metrics, measurements, analysis, and the like, these are still human beings trying to live up to numbers. A couple of things with potential impact did happen that we know about for sure. First, Gallardo agreed to participate in the World Baseball Classic for Team Mexico which led to an shorter off-season, earlier ramp up times, and possibly impacted his preparations from a regular season standpoint. It has been mentioned multiple times this off-season, when prompted, that the WBC may have had some impact on Gallardo. Of course, all of last season when Gallardo was struggling it was consistently dismissed as a possible cause. We’ll see what a regular off-season does for Gallardo’s fortunes in 2014.

The other things we know of, although we have no idea how long it may have continued to be a problem or what caused it to happen in the first place, but there was the matter of an off-the-field issue when Gallardo was arrested for DUI in April. It was in the early morning hours of Tuesday, April 16th. Gallardo pitched on the 13th and was scheduled to toe the rubber again on the 18th. That’s not to excuse the timing of the DUI, but at least to offer the factual context.

Gallardo was cited, fined, and admonished for the act. It’s not only poor form, but in a world of multi-million dollar contracts, clubhouse attendants, personal assistants, and a league-sponsored program to provide drivers for players who have had too much to drink on a given night, it’s fairly hard to understand how it could have happened at all. Then again, alcohol has been known to impair judgment a time or two.

The bottom line for Gallardo is that he’s got a job in Milwaukee for 2014 in the starting rotation. Beyond that, he certainly has a lot to prove for someone with his track record. He needs to refind his ability to miss bats, while maintaining the control that he’s demonstrated in the past. If he sacrificed strikeouts in an odd attempt to decrease his walks and reduce his pitch counts, it worked to some degree but he lost much of his effectiveness along the way.

All that said, let me reiterate one point in conclusion: Gallardo has a lot of influence over his 2015 with his results in 2014. One would think that his calm and relatively reserved demeanor would lend itself to his wanting to pitch well so he could stay in Milwaukee.

Let’s just hope he pitches like it.

Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:

Brewers On Deck to Feature Over 50 Players, Alumni, Coaches, Broadcasters

BREWERS ON DECK, PRESENTED BY TIME WARNER CABLE, TO INCLUDE OVER 50 PLAYERS, COACHES, BROADCASTERS & ALUMNI

Free Admission to All Fans in 2014; Food Donations Accepted through Hunger Task Force

Nearly thirty Milwaukee Brewers players plus a host of alumni, coaches, front office executives and broadcasters are scheduled to participate in Brewers On Deck, presented by Time Warner Cable, which is set to take place on Sunday, January 26 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center.

Admission to this year’s Brewers On Deck is free of charge.  Tickets are not required for the event.  Food donations will be accepted through the Hunger Task Force (peanut butter is requested by the Hunger Task Force, in particular).  Donations can be dropped off at two main entrances to the Wisconsin Center, located at 4th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, and 4th Street and Wells Street.  Players, coaches and alumni scheduled to attend include (all subject to change):

Players (28)

  • Jeff Bianchi
  • Michael Blazek
  • Ryan Braun
  • Hiram Burgos
  • Khris Davis
  • Marco Estrada
  • Mike Fiers
  • Yovani Gallardo
  • Scooter Gennett
  • Caleb Gindl
  • Tom Gorzelanny
  • Brooks Hall
  • Sean Halton
  • Donovan Hand
  • Johnny Hellweg
  • Jim Henderson
  • Elian Herrera
  • Brandon Kintzler
  • Kyle Lohse
  • Jonathan Lucroy
  • Hunter Morris
  • Jimmy Nelson
  • Mark Reynolds
  • Jason Rogers
  • Logan Schafer
  • Jean Segura
  • Kevin Shackelford
  • Will Smith
  • Tyler Thornburg
  • Rob Wooten

Alumni (7)

  • Craig Counsell
  • Rollie Fingers
  • Jim Gantner
  • Larry Hisle
  • Geoff Jenkins
  • Gorman Thomas
  • Robin Yount

Coaches (10)

  • Ron Roenicke
  • Joe Crawford
  • Mike Guerrero
  • Marcus Hanel
  • Garth Iorg
  • Rick Kranitz
  • Johnny Narron
  • Ed Sedar
  • John Shelby
  • Lee Tunnell

Broadcasters (3)

  • Jerry Augustine
  • Dave Nelson
  • Bob Uecker

— 

Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family.  Autographs and photos from Brewers players, coaches and alumni; interactive games in the Kids Area; Q&A sessions and game shows with Brewers players, coaches and broadcasters; vendor booths with baseball memorabilia; Brewers Community Foundation’s Treasure Hunt and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.

Details regarding autographs include the following:  Recipients of “PREMIER” autographs (players to be announced next week) will be chosen through a random selection process. Each fan in attendance will receive one Premier Entry sheet which may be redeemed at the Random Selection area outside the Main Exhibit Hall of the Wisconsin Center District.  The Premier Entry sheet will be exchanged for a numbered coupon to be entered into the random selection process for any one of the select Brewers players.  Coupon distribution will be available at 8 a.m. the day of the event and will continue up to an hour before each designated autograph session.   There is no cost for coupons to enter the random selection process; however, those holding winning coupons must pay $10 at the respective autograph stage to collect their player signature.  There will be 250 winners for each of the autograph sessions.  The winning ticket numbers will be posted at the designated autograph stage no less than 30 minutes prior to each player’s session.

Players and staff not included in the PREMIER autograph list will not use the random selection process. Each of these players will sign 250 autographs at prices ranging from free to $10. A schedule of players, their session times, and distribution info will be posted next week.  The autograph opportunities are for signatures on photo cards provided by the team; the Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia.  For additional information, visit Brewers.com/ondeck.

Autograph proceeds benefit Brewers Community Foundation.  Please note that cash is the only acceptable form of payment for autographs. The Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia, and personalization of items is solely up to the discretion of each player.

Fans also have the opportunity to enter to win autographs from their favorite players via a #BrewersOnDeck Vine & Instagram contest, which runs through Monday, January 20. The details can be found here: http://brewers.mlblogs.com/2014/01/07/win-an-autograph-from-your-favorite-brewers-player-at-brewers-on-deck/

Brewer Nation Podcast – Off-Season Primer

Recorded on location last night, here is the latest Brewer Nation podcast.


Check the tags for some of the players mentioned during this hour-long clip.

Milwaukee BBWAA Chapter’s Brewers Team Award Winners Announced

The Milwaukee Brewers announced their postseason award winners as voted by members of the Milwaukee Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). A total of eight ballots were cast for each award, assigning five points for first place, three for second and one for third.

Center fielder Carlos Gomez was voted Brewers Most Valuable Player as he received all eight first-place votes (40 points). He was followed by shortstop Jean Segura (18 points), catcher Jonathan Lucroy (13) and pitcher Kyle Lohse (1). Gomez, a first-time All-Star selection this season, batted .284 with 24 HR, 73 RBI and 40 stolen bases in 147 games.  He was among the National League leaders in triples (T2nd, 10), stolen bases (4th), slugging percentage (7th, .506) and extra-base hits (T8th, 61).  Gomez became the first player in franchise history to produce 20+ home runs and 40+ stolen bases in a season.  He was the only player in the Major Leagues to accomplish that feat in 2013. The Gold Glove Award candidate also recorded 12 assists in center field, which ranked second in the Major Leagues from that position.

Kyle Lohse was voted Brewers Most Valuable Pitcher as he received all eight first-place votes (40 points). Jim Henderson (24 points), Brandon Kintzler (7) and Yovani Gallardo (1) also received consideration. Lohse, who signed with the Brewers as a free agent on March 25, went 11-10 with a 3.35 ERA in 32 starts during his first season in Milwaukee. He led the team in ERA, innings pitched (198.2) and quality starts (20). He ranked fifth in the National League in fewest walks per nine innings (1.6). Lohse went 10-4 with a 2.91 ERA over his last 22 starts, posting 16 quality starts (139ip, 45er).

Lohse (38 points) was also voted Brewers Top Newcomer, receiving seven first-place votes and one second-place vote. He was followed by second baseman Scooter Gennett (26 points – one first-place vote). Outfielder Khris Davis (7 points) and pitcher Tyler Thornburg (1) were also listed on ballots.

Outfielder Norichika Aoki (34 points) received five first-place votes and three second-place votes to edge pitcher Brandon Kintzler (27 points – three first place-votes, four second-place votes) and earn Brewers Unsung Hero honors.  A total of eight players were listed on ballots for this award. Aoki batted .286 with 8 HR, 37 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 155 games. He ranked among the National League leaders in multi-hit games (T7th, 50) and hits (T10th, 171).  He led the team in games, at-bats (597), on-base percentage (.356) and walks (55) while tying Carlos Gomez for the team lead in runs (80). Aoki struck out just 40 times in 674 plate appearances this season, the best ratio in the Major Leagues (16.9).

Catcher Jonathan Lucroy (33 points) earned the Good Guy Award, receiving six first-place votes and one second-place vote.  The other first-place votes went to center fielder Carlos Gomez, who finished second with 18 points, and shortstop Jean Segura. A total of nine players were listed on ballots for this honor, the most of any award this season.

Audio: Doug Melvin’s Season Ending Press Conference

dougmelvin

In case you missed it, here’s the audio from Doug Melvin’s season ending press conference which just concluded at Miller Park.


Enjoy!

Rumor Report: Could This Be The Trade “On The Table?”

So the Brewers have a general manager and earlier today he told one of the beat writers who covers the team that he doesn’t think he is “motivated” to move available trade chips in advance of baseball’s non-waiver trading deadline tomorrow afternoon.

(Those comments can be read here: http://m.jsonline.com/more/sports/blogs/217603061.html)

In those same comments, however, that same GM mentioned that he had one trade “on the table” but admitted that he didn’t think it would lead to a deal.

But “For who?” you may ask.

Well, I’m fortunate enough to have someone to ask, so I did.

But first here’s the confusing part of that beat writer’s article…

“Melvin said he has only one trade offer on the table at present for a pitcher but wouldn’t say whether it’s a starter or a reliever. Asked if he thought that would lead to a deal, he said, “I don’t think so.”

Melvin said he has no active talks going for any of his remaining relievers, including lefty Michael Gonzalez, who is a free agent after the season.”

So perhaps Melvin puts a distinction between “on the table” and “active”, but to me that seems to indicate that the player involved has to be a starter. And that’s why it’s confusing.

Because I was told that the most viable (which doesn’t mean much) thing out there right now is that a pair of teams have checked in on Jim Henderson’s price with one of them likely being the team who has an outstanding offer.

Those teams are the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers. We knew that the Tigers were previously connected to the Brewers when I reported about their unrealized interest in Francisco Rodriguez (whom the Brewers traded to the Baltimore Orioles last week), and there’s no shortage of history between Texas and Melvin including brief discussions this season about Norichika Aoki that never went anywhere.

Still, as I said on social media yesterday and on one of my weekly radio spots before that, while I’m not expecting anything at this point, something could come together very quickly on a player like Kyle Lohse. After all, much can happen in a short timeframe when motivation and/or desperation are involved.

(Author’s Note: I promised two pieces of info and will pass the other along when I have more time.)

Jayson Stark on Brewers Trade Situation (and My Thoughts)

ESPN.com’s senior baseball writer Jayson Stark posted a column today about the trade market and all things pertaining to it.

He mentions the Brewers on the separate occasions. Here are those mentions and my thoughts about them.

On Aramis Ramirez, other hitters:

“The Brewers haven’t quite packed it in yet, but an official of one club that spoke with them reports that if they do sell, they’d gladly listen on their third baseman — and, for that matter, on any position player except Jean Segura, Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun. The good news: Ramirez has a reputation as a second-half producer (.295/.351/.531 lifetime after the All-Star break). The bad news: He’s guaranteed $16 million next season, with a mutual option worth $14 million for 2015, with a $4 million buyout.”

It’s no surprise to read that the Brewers would listen on almost any hitter. There are veterans in this group that made a couple of playoff runs as a nucleus but are getting older and expensive together. There are complementary pieces that have performed well in Milwaukee but would be in decline (if they aren’t already) or off contract before Milwaukee’s next playoff push if they choose to adhere to Melvin’s stated directive.

One of the most valuable pieces among them, when healthy, is Ramirez. He could bring a handsome return from the right caller plus the Brewers would love to get out from underneath the rest of that contract.

I agree with the “untouchables” list offered above as well, realizing that the time to reload is now while we, as fans, look toward legitimate contention in the near future.

On Yovani Gallardo:

“The blueprint got all smushed up in Milwaukee this season. But that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be plenty to market if the Brewers sell. Atop the list of their most-coveted pieces, you’d find their ace, Yovani Gallardo. But teams that have checked in say the Brewers haven’t made it clear whether Gallardo is going to be out there or not. One NL exec said his impression was that Gallardo is the one pitcher on this staff who won’t be available. But another said: “To be honest, I think they would love to move him. Remember those fastballs that used to be 94-95-ish? Now they’re 89-90-ish.” Nevertheless, a 27-year-old starter with a track record and up to two seasons of control (counting his 2015 option) always makes for a viable trade chip.”

I don’t know that Melvin would “love” to move Gallardo as the executive who spoke to Stark suggested, but after Melvin’s comments mentioning Yo at all I’d be a fool if I didn’t recognize that they’re willing to.

Melvin stated that a trade offer would have to “wow” him in order to move the Brewers’ long-time number one, but just that Melvin was willing to discuss Gallardo with the media speaks volumes.

Working in Melvin’s favor again is that he has some leverage with Gallardo much like he does with Ramirez. Gallardo is under contract for 2014 and has an affordable team option for ’15 that won’t be voidable after all. (The option could have been voided by Gallardo if he had multiple top finishes in the Cy Young Award balloting during the extension.)

Whether they should move Gallardo becomes the question now. Assuming a decent return is offered, are you reloading for a run at the division in 2016? Or do you want to take one more shot with this offense in ’14? The decision will be made soon and it directly affects Gallardo’s availability on the market.


Stark then lists his “Five more arms to keep an eye on:” at the end of the column, a list which includes Francisco Rodriguez.

This is the most obvious choice for a player that the Brewers would love to move. After getting somewhat screwed when Rodriguez accepted arbitration following the 2011 season, the Brewers got no compensation at all for what appeared to be the imminent departure of K-Rod from Cream City.

After receiving some offers to begin 2013, Rodriguez waited and eventually got a deal he was comfortable accepting from Doug Melvin. For everything that he wasn’t in 2012, Rodriguez has been excellent so far this season for Ron Roenicke. He would certainly bring back a worthwhile piece for a team in need of a proven (yes, I said it) late-inning option.

With Rotation Decision Looming, A By-Scenario Look at Potential Impact

Following Saturday evening’s victory over the Chicago Cubs, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was noncommittal at best to his immediate plans for the starting rotation.

That’s understandable to a degree because while Hiram Burgos pitched very well against the Cubs, the Brewers don’t need a fifth starting pitcher again until next Tuesday, April 30 back home against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park.

We know that both Roenicke and his pitching coach Rick Kranitz prefer to use scheduled off-days as a way to help their starting pitchers get extra rest with the goal of staying healthier and however fresher into the summer. We also know that Yovani Gallardo in particular prefers to pitch on regular rest whenever possible. Though I haven’t the others involved, chances are good that they appreciate routine in kind.

Roenicke gets the final call though, and his decision regarding how his rotation will line up over the next couple of weeks does have impact. Obviously, Roenicke realizes this which is why he said that they are considering match-ups and their days off when determining how to proceed.

There are two main scenarios to be considered with some variables involved.

Scenario 1: Burgos remains in 5-man rotation, off-day ignored
     -Variable 1: Burgos next start on 4/26
     -Variable 2: Burgos next start on 4/28

Scenario 2: Fifth starter not used until April 30th
     – Variable 1: Burgos will make that start, pitch in bullpen until then
     – Variable 2: Someone else will make that start with Burgos being optioned to minors to stay on schedule and someone filling a bullpen role between now and then.

The fallout from Scenario 1, Variable 1 is twofold. First, it means that Lohse and Gallardo will continue to pitch consecutively for now. That’s probably something that Roenicke would have done anyway had Lohse been in camp all spring. Second, Burgos will follow Estrada in turn which could result in similar pitchers back-to-back but basically asks Burgos to pitch over his head in some match-ups.

In this, Burgos’ next three opponents are the Dodgers, Pirates, and Rangers. He would be the one SP to miss the Cardinals series at the beginning of May. Gallardo faces the Cardinals in either scenario, for what it’s worth.

Variable 2 for Scenario 1 allows the rotation to reorder itself back to how it was coming out of spring. Gallardo, Estrada, Peralta, Lohse, and now Burgos as the fifth SP. Here, Burgos faces the Dodgers and Cardinals for sure.

Scenario 2 gives us the following match-ups. Burgos gets Pittsburgh on 4/30, St. Louis on 5/5, and then there are off-days on both sides of the Texas two-step series on May 7 & 8 to negotiate again and determine the value of a fifth starter taking his turn.

I’d have to think that Roenicke will skip the fifth starter around the Rangers series because if he simply goes with extra rest, everybody will have six days off between starts instead of the usual four.

So there are the scenarios and some of their resultant impact. So I ask you, Brewer Nation, if you were in charge which timeline do you think will produce the best outcome?

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