The All-Star Break has come and gone, but the Brewers’ woeful play has not. After losing six-straight heading into the break, the Brewers lost two of three to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Joe Madden and his Cubs are now 2.5 games ahead of the Brewers, but the Crew still has a half game edge on the Philadelphia Phillies for the top wild card spot. There are also six teams within 5.5 games that are also hunting for October, which will come quicker than people think.
Everything is going wrong if you’re a Brewers fan. Manny Machado became a Dodger, with David Stearns falling just short of nabbing the All-Star shortstop. Starting pitchers are succumbing to the injury bug quicker than pitchers are coming off of the designated list. Trades that should have happened a week ago, haven’t.
I refuse to mention the Brent Suter injury here because I don’t think I can emotionally handle it.
The boat is taking on water, fast.
Thankfully it is still afloat and there are options to plug the holes.
The Brewers should not be buyers at the deadline
This has been the reaction as the Brewers have been on their recent tumble. Apparently to some fans going from the most wins in the National League to the second-most and a top Wild Card spot and suddenly you should become sellers, not buyers.
This is nowhere near the case. The Brewers’ border-rivals, the Minnesota Twins, offer a number of intriguing options for a sluggish middle infield. Brian Dozier is known to be a huge second-half player.
In the last month, the former All-Star second baseman is getting on base over a third of the time he steps to the plate, has hit six of his ten homeruns and also drove in 20 runs. He seems to have turned the corner after a tough first half of the season and would also be a cheap get considering his status as a rental player.
The Twins also offer shortstop Eduardo Escobar, who is batting for a .272/.332/.504 line to go with 58 RBIs, 14 homeruns, 58 RBIs and a well-above-average 121 wRC+.
In the past month, however, he has been regressing to the tune of a .196 batting average and a terrible .241 on-base percentage. Look for the Brewers to pursue Dozier instead of Escobar.
On the pitching front, they seem to be in on every avaliable arm on the market, including Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer. Coming off of the DL last week, Archer just posted six innings, giving up three earned runs and striking out 13 Marlins hitters.
The bullpen, due to starting pitchers struggling to go deep into games, has been worked hard as of late, but trades may not be needed to bring in the relief.
A deep farm system may be all the Brewers need. Top prospect Corbin Burnes has been lights-out in his relief appearances, only adding pedigree to his prospect status.
Coming in with the bases loaded in Friday’s win over Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers, Burnes worked two perfect innings, striking out three.
So far he has worked six innings, giving up only two hits and striking out eight.
David Stearns and the front office will do as they always do and cast a wide net, both in and outside of the organization. Maybe it means swapping some major league talent like Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana for other major league talent.
But one thing is for certain, and that is the Brewers will certainly be buyers as they own the second-best record in the National League.
Verdict: Over reaction
Orlando Arcia will be back before the end of the season
In 203 at-bats at the major league level this year, shortstop Orlando Arcia only hit for a paltry .197/.231/.251 hitting line, two home runs and 15 RBIs.
After a decent-to-good 2017 season, 2018 got off to a terrible start for the 23 year-old. He has since been sent down to Triple-A Colorado Springs to figure his swing out and get back on track.
Let’s just say he and the bat are doing a bit better.
In 75 at-bats he has already matched his major league homerun total and improved his line to .333/.419/.480. On top of that, he is seeing the ball better to the tune of 10 walks and only 14 strikeouts. Earlier in the season for the Brewers he had struck out 51 times and walked only nine times.
His wRC+ in the minors is a well-above-average 135 compared to his terrible 27 to start the season.
With Manny Machado off the market and Arcia improving, it is not inconceivable if they turn back to the former top prospect. His defensive play has always been a huge asset, but if he has truly figured out his swing and the Brewers choose to address 2B instead of SS on the trade market, they could use his glove and improved bat.
Verdict: Dead on
Luke warm take of the week: This schedule is brutal
The Brewers do not play a series against a team with a losing record until August 7th. Before that they enjoy the Nationals, Giants, Dodgers again (*sigh*) and the Rockies.
After a three-game set against the Padres, they have a series against the Wild Card rival Atlanta Braves and division rivals Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals.
It is a tough stretch of games, but if they can come out of the other side of it at the end of August they will be in good shape to make the postseason for the first time since 2011.