It’s been a great week of baseball for the Milwaukee Brewers. It’s also been busy. Over a beer with The Squeaky Curd Founder and CEO Joe Powell last Tuesday, I mentioned that I was getting to the point in my weekly recaps where I was nervous about becoming repetitive; I don’t know how the daily writers do it. And yet, here I am, five days later with so many story lines to cover that I don’t even know where to start. Let’s try making our quick takes even quicker, so we can cover it all.
Keon Broxton is back, and he’s fast…. really fast
It’s tough to talk about speed as it relates to any Brewer other than Jonathan Villar, who still leads all of baseball in stolen bases with 23. That’s certainly impressive, and unexpected, but Keon Broxton may be even faster. In just his 18th appearance for the Brewers this year, Broxton stole two bases to bring his total to 6, and from my vantage point (my couch), he looks to be a bit quicker than Villar. Speed is an amazing tool to have at a manager’s disposal, so much so that it may keep Broxton up in the majors for good.
After optioning Wily Peralta to AAA, I have even more confidence in the Brewer’s GM
If you take salary and pride out of the equation, the decision to option Peralta to make room for Matt Garza’s 2016 Brewers debut was a simple one. Until yesterday, Peralta’s 6.67ERA was the worst in the majors among all qualified starting pitchers. And although Peralta pitched his way to a win yesterday (and added a two-run home run to help his cause), he’s still not pitching like the Wily of old. It would have been a mistake for Stearns to option any other member of this pitching staff ahead of Wily, as his numbers have been so drastically worse than the rest of the rotation. I like the signal that this sends to the rest of the team, including Garza, who hasn’t thrown a pitch in a major league game this season: nobody is safe from being designated to the minors. You’ve got to earn your right to stay on this team.
If you’re as in to this team as I am, get ready for some late nights this week
The Brewers head west this week to face the Giants for three games, the Dodgers for four games, and the A’s for two. Six of those nine games are night games, and the first pitch won’t even be thrown until 9:10PM CST. Plan accordingly, Brewers fans!
I tried to read up on the MLB draft this week, and it’s actually super complicated.
Here’s what I’ve picked up on the financial aspects of the draft. The Brewers have a good amount of money to spend on signing their draft picks, which is actually a difficult thing to do. Just ask the 2015 LA Dodgers, who were unable to sign a whopping five of their draft picks. Or the 2014 Houston Astros, who were unable to negotiate with the first pick of the entire draft and let him walk. This shouldn’t be an issue for the Brewers, who have the 8th highest draft pool allotment to spend on their signings without incurring a penalty. They should be able to lock down almost all of their early picks without much of an issue.
… and with the fifth pick of the MLB Draft, the Brewers selected Corey Ray, OF from Louisville
Again, not pretending to be an expert here, but this is the gist of what I’ve learned about Corey Ray. He’s fast, he’s got a good amount of power, he hit .313 this season for Louisvlle, and he’s short (5’11”). His average doesn’t exactly blow me away for a top 10 draft pick, but most mock drafts had Ray in their top 10 based on the speed/power combination. One item to point out is that teams selecting players out of college are typically hoping to see a return on their investment quicker than if they were selecting a player out of high school. Louisville was just swept in their “sweet 16” appearance in the College World Series, a series in which Ray went 0-8 with a walk. Still, as is the case every year in the MLB draft, unless I could come up with a tangible reason to disagree with the pick, we’ll just have to wait and see how he progresses over the next couple of years. Only time will tell.
And finally, if you’re going to split a four game series…
…the best outcome is to win the final two games after losing the first two. The Brewers did just that after losing the first two games against the Mets this weekend. Credit Craig Counsell and his team for battling back to a series split after another heartbreaking loss in extra innings on Friday night. The Brewers now have all of the momentum in the world heading to San Francisco, where they’ll try to continue to make the case that they can play with the best teams in baseball.