clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Whither David Goforth?

The Brewers have barely used one of their top relief prospects since his call-up.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers called up reliever David Goforth on May 26th. Before the Brewers acquired Corey Knebel, Goforth was their top relief prospect. He had been pitching in the hitter friendly ballpark at AAA Colorado Springs. He was having success too with a 3.43 ERA and 4.03 FIP all things considered. Since his call up he's 2.1 innings across 4 games and not at all since May 31st. It's strange to put it mildly.

David Goforth pitch 0.2 innings the day he was called up. Then on May 29th he threw 0.1 innings. On May 30th 1.0 inning. And finally on May 31st he threw 3 pitches technically earning an out via a caught stealing. He didn't return in that game which was strange because it was a game where the bullpen was stretched already and the starter that day left in the 4th inning. After that game nothing.

I can only envision one of two things going on here. Either the Brewers are only using him in super low leverage situations or the reliever is hurt. I have no evidence he's injured though so I don't want to speculate too much on that. But if the Brewers are only using Goforth in super low leverage situations the decision is a strange one.

The Brewers have lost games since 5/31 and some that weren't all that close. They've also won one that wasn't all that close. If they're only going to use Goforth for low leverage situations they're being super strict about it. That also doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense considering the Will Smith suspension.

They do have a full compliment of 7 relievers even with Smith unavailable. But that's forced them to play musical chairs with their 5th starter spot. First they called up Ty Wagner, and sent him down immediately after his start. Then they called up Tyler Cravy, and sent him down immediately after his start. Now tonight they've called up Taylor Jungmann for his first major league start (sending Luis Sardinas down and forcing the Brewers to play with a short bench).

This is all so they can keep 7 active reliever...and not use one of them? It's strange. Maybe Craig Counsell forgot he was there. Maybe Counsell doesn't know how to manage a bullpen. Maybe David Goforth is hurt...but then why wouldn't they just send him down when they needed to make room for Cravy and then Jungmann (instead of forcing the short bench) . So he's probably not hurt, right? I don't know.

This reminds me of when Wei-Chung Wang was with the Brewers last year. They rarely used him and Brewers fans were irate because they irrationally blamed him for wearing out the rest of the bullpen, even thought the evidence of that was tenuous at best.

Maybe this is just how the Brewers decided they should use the last guy on their bullpen depth chart. If that's true then I think it's pretty dumb. Why waste the roster spot if you're rarely going to use him. If that's how you're going to treat your 7th reliever then just carry 6 and an extra bat.

In a normal situation I would just assume he's sore or something not serious. But the Brewers are playing musical chairs with their starters and now they're playing with a short bench. The only reason to do that is to play with a full compliment of relievers. That's not a thing if David Goforth is injured. So it can't be that. I have to assume Counsell has just decided not to use him unless they're losing by a ton. And that doesn't make much sense either given he's one of their top relief prospects.