How will you remember Randy Wolf?

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 05: Randy Wolf #43 of the Milwaukee Brewers sits in the dugout against the Arizona Diamondbacks during Game Four of the National League Divison Series at Chase Field on October 5, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


As Kyle reported yesterday, lefty Randy Wolf was released by the Brewers.

The move received thunderous applause from Brewer Nation. One staff friend of mine remarked that he was doing cartwheels. And he has a bum leg, so you can imagine how excited he was. Wolf has just 3 wins on the season, and leads the major leagues in hits allowed (179). He leads the National League in earned runs with 90. Wolf's 5.69 ERA doesn't play, and he has pitched just one quality start in his last 5 outings. So yeah, it was probably time to cut ties.

In some ways, Wolf's story seems a familiar one. Wolf was signed in December 2009 to a 3-year, $29.75M deal, which included a $1.5M buyout for 2013. The much maligned Jeff Suppan, who the Brewers signed to a 4-year deal in 2006, was also released in the final year of his contract at age 35. By the end of their Brewers stints, both were pretty ineffective, although Suppan would go on to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres. Wolf will almost certainly find some team willing to take a flier on him. The Brewers are still on the hook for about $3.5M of his salary, including a $1.5M buyout of their 2013 option.

Yet in some ways, the comparison to Jeff Suppan is entirely unfair. Suppan broke the 200-inning plateau only once, in his first year in 2007. Wolf gave the Brewers back-to-back 210+ inning seasons. Until he totally fell off a cliff this year, Wolf had a respectable 3.93 ERA for the Brewers. In 2007, Jeff Suppan's best year, he pitched to a 4.62 ERA, and it only went downhill from there.

There is something to be said for coming through in the clutch, too. Wolf was an excellent fourth man during the 2011 season, amassing a 3.69 ERA with double digit wins. And though he was inconsistent in his two postseason appearances, he tossed a 7-inning gem in game 4 of the NLCS.

Wolf would probably be more highly regarded among Brewers fans if he had not inserted himself into lineup decisions. After just two turns with Jonathan Lucroy catching him in 2010, Wolf apparently grew frustrated with the rookie backstop. Backup catcher George Kottaras would wind up catching Wolf the vast majority of his remaining time in Milwaukee. That would have been fine if Kottaras could hit lefties. But he couldn't, so there really wasn't a good reason for him to be in the lineup in those situations. Neither Ron Roenicke nor Ken Macha saw fit to end that foolishness, an unfortunate situation that only adds to the exuberance over Wolf's release.

Wolf would almost certainly still be pitching for the team if not for the success stories of Marco Estrada, Mark Rogers, and Mike Fiers. But with Shaun Marcum slated for return soon, there was just one too many pitchers for a five-man rotation. It's the order of things that the old give way to the new. Randy Wolf's release simply follows that cycle.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Brew Crew Ball

You must be a member of Brew Crew Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Brew Crew Ball. You should read them.

Join Brew Crew Ball

You must be a member of Brew Crew Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Brew Crew Ball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker