After winning only 74 games last year, the Milwaukee Brewers realized they needed better pitching to contend in a tough NL Central. The three teams in the NL Central that went into the playoffs all had pitching staffs that were able to consistently eat innings and keep the score low. The Brewers’ pitching staff never really got into a groove to provide low scores and pitch deep into games. Brewers’ General Manager Doug Melvin has worked hard this offseason to make that part of the roster better. By trading outfielder Norichika Aoki to Kansas City for left handed-pitcher Will Smith. Will Smith at worst can hopefully give the Brewers another option in the bullpen as a situational lefty.
The Brewers’ biggest addition this offseason was the signing of veteran starting pitcher Matt Garza. Garza was signed to a four-year $50 million contract with incentives that can push the deal to $67 million. The Garza deal was called reported prematurely because once it was first reported, the team denied that an agreement was made and that the two sides were still talking. As a Brewer fan, I was concerned that the deal was going to fall through and leave the team with a hole in the rotation that felt bigger when they almost signed someone but ended up getting away. Thankfully in this situation, the two sides just needed to hammer out the final details of the contract that would protect the Brewers in the case of injuries. I think that Garza gives the Brewers a huge boost at the top of the rotation to help stabilize the pitching. Garza is able to pitch deep into games and isn’t going to have the scoreboard lit up on him.
One pitcher who performed consistently last season was the free-agent surprise signing in spring training, Kyle Lohse. Lohse lead the team in era with a 3.35. He was far and away the most consistent pitcher on the club despite his 11-10 win-loss record. That record is not the best way always to show the value of a starting pitcher. Lohse is able to provide the Brewers’ younger pitchers with veteran experience and show them how to become a pro and better pitcher.
Last season was an inconsistent one for Yovani Gallardo leading the team in wins and strikeouts with 12 and 144 but also posting a 4.18 era. Gallardo is a talented pitcher who has shown in the past that he can be a very special pitcher. While Gallardo isn’t in the same tier of talent such as Yu Darvish, Felix Hernandez or Justin Verlander, he is still is a very solid pitcher that can help this club reach new heights. I think that now he doesn’t have the burden of being the ace of the rotation, he can flourish and help lead the Brewers back to the playoffs.
Wily Peralta showed stretches of a potential as a starter on the big league level but as a young guy, he struggled at points. I think that Peralta can become a player that could figure into the Brewers plans for a long time if he is able to command the strike zone consistently.
Marco Estrada is currently in place to take hold of the final spot in the rotation and showed that he can be a solid number five but not much else. I think that Estrada is in a perfect spot in the Brewers roster as their fifth or long relief pitcher.
Do you think that the Brewers should add another starting pitcher to their rotation? Leave your comments below.