The Brewers most recent roster move is a bit of a strange one. Earlier today they optioned Jason Rogers and Corey Knebel to AAA Colorado Springs. In a corresponding move they called up Tyler Cravy and David Goforth. It's strange because neither Rogers nor Knebel was struggling in their time with the Brewers. It's also strange because now the Brewers are short on the bench and seemingly long in the pen. One could also claim it's strange to call up Cravy who has been a starter to this point when no clear spot in the rotation needs filling.
Mike Fiers, Jimmy Nelson, and Taylor Jungmann are set to pitch the weekend series. Fiers has been the Brewers best starter. Nelson is in his first full season of the majors. While he has struggled in some starts, it's to be expected. It's also beneficial for him to continue to work though these outings if he's going to grow and progress as a pitcher. Jungmann has been very good since his call-up.
If Cravy were called up to start I imagine it would be a spot start because a pitcher is hurt and needs to miss his turn in the rotation. But so far I haven't heard anything so I'm assuming it's not that. Personally I think Cravy is going to be pitching out of the bullpen. It's not that strange as his future role could be as a long man or swing man.
I can even find some logic in swapping Knebel for Goforth. You could argue that Knebel has been used a lot recently and might need a break. He's not that far removed from pitching in college ball so he might not have built up a full seasons' worth of resilience.
You could also argue that Goforth is deserving of more MLB time and the experience that goes with it. He currently has a 2.84 ERA and 3.83 FIP in the tough pitching environment of Colorado Springs. Counsell didn't use him much the last time he was up which I found perplexing. Hopefully he'll have more confidence in him now.
What I really find interesting/confusing is sending Jason Rogers down for a pitcher. My first thought is this is due to the bullpen being overworked. Knebel might need a break. Francisco Rodriguez has pitched in 4 of the last 5 games and warmed up in all of them. Will Smith has pitched in 4 of the last 5 as well. That's excessive and borderline abusive if you ask me. Most relievers are mandated rest after 3 games in a row. Heck, most don't pitch more than 2 days in a row. So it makes sense if the Brewers feel they need to give some of the overworked arms a rest.
I had one other thought that's more wishful thinking than anything. What if the Brewers are gearing up to trade Adam Lind? To be clear, I have heard nothing about this. I'm only speculating. But if they were to trade him, Jason Rogers would be the most likely person to take over full time duties at first. It would make sense for them to want him to get re-acclimated to full time play. Get his bat hot, that sort of thing. They can do that by having him as the regular first baseman at AAA.
While these moves seem strange on the surface, there are likely logical reasons they were made. I have to say though, the bullpen being overworked is at least in part Craig Counsell's fault. This is a lost season and he's managing his bullpen like it's September in a stretch run. Ultimately though it doesn't matter. He hasn't pushed a reliever to the breaking point yet. And they can call up Matt Dominguez to get a look at him or someone else if they want once they feel the bullpen is back to full strength.