Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
Jose Veras wasn't the worst player in the Brewers' 2012 bullpen, but frequent free passes kept him from being great.
MVBrewers is a player-by-player look at the most valuable members of the 2012 Brewers, as voted on by you. Here's our top ten:
The series now continues with Honorable Mentions, to cover some of the Brewers we've missed. This is the eighth installment in that segment. You can see all the player profiles in the Most Valuable Brewers 2012 section. The series continues tomorrow with the next Honorable Mention.
Back in December 2011, the Brewers signed Aramis Ramirez to a three-year deal, displacing Casey Mcgehee from his home and third base and, soon, displacing him entirely from Milwaukee. The Brewers flipped McGehee to the Pirates for hard-tossing Jose Veras, a righty whom the Brewers figured would replace some of the production lost from the departing LaTroy Hawkins and Takashi Saito. No doubt this belief was based, in part, on Veras's strong 2011 campaign, in which he posted a 3.80 ERA over 71 innings.
Anyone who looked beyond 2011 could see the Brewers were in trouble. Veras's strong strikeout profile (averaging 9.4 K/9 over his 7-year career) comes with a cost: walks. Coming into 2012, he was averaging 4.8 per nine, but Veras even managed to inflate that with a 5.4 BB/9 in 2012. His 1.51 WHIP wasn't the worst in baseball, but his 40 walks on the year came in at third-most for a reliever.
A 3.63 ERA will certainly play, but by midseason I had had enough of Jose Veras. I hate walks, and Veras gives them up in spades - including a walk-off walk in Kansas City that ruined a little road trip of mine. In September, I summed up his season in one tweet:
Honestly. Veras has some redeeming qualities, but they're not enough to overcome all his bullshit walks.— Nate Petrashek (@NPetrashek) September 27, 2012
On May 21, Veras entered in the 10th inning against the Giants with the score tied 3-3. He tossed two shutout innings, preserving the tie and striking out two (with no walks!), although the Brewers would go on to take the loss. I couldn't find video of that, so here's video of Rickie Weeks losing count of the outs in the same game:
If you're just desperate to see a Veras highlight, though, here's him earning his first save after walking a batter to load the bases (naturally):
Veras, arbitration-eligible for the second time in 2013, was outrighted by the Brewers and is now a free agent. In this week's poll, 70% of respondents agreed with the move.