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BCB Mailbag 9: New Year’s Eve Edition

Answering the burning questions from you, the reader.

Milwaukee Brewers v Texas Rangers Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

Let’s hurry up and get these questions in before midnight!

Aaron128 asks:

Which prospect...

… is your top pick to be the next Brewers prospect to reach the majors – be it out of spring training or during the regular season?

I’ll say Josh Hader early-ish in the regular season. It’s just easier for me to see a clearer path for him early on in the year, and I think Brinson could benefit from more time at AAA. As much as folks love him and as amazing as his last 23 games were after he was dealt to Milwaukee, let’s not forget Brinson hit .237/.280/.431 with 11 home runs (101 wRC+) in 77 games in AA last year, worse numbers than Brett Phillips (113 wRC+) put up.

drezdn asks:

Which Brewer would be the most fun to spend New Years Eve with?

I’d probably hit up Forrest Snow and Phil Bickford before anyone else.

krieden asks:

Which Brewer would you want to be godfather to your child?

Tim Dillard, who in addition to being a riot, has a very strong faith background.

Lance123 asks:

Better upside

Which prospect do you think has a higher ceiling and which is more likely to make it to the bigs; Lara or Erceg?

Could either be a solid 1st baseman?


Better upside is Gilbert Lara. He’s younger and has flashed more enticing tools, especially his raw power. That hasn’t necessarily translated into games just yet, but he’s still two years younger than Erceg.

More likely to make it to the majors, though, is Erceg. He’s already played and succeeded at a higher level (low-A in 2016) and as a college player, is a bit more refined than someone like Lara.

I’m sure physically either player could handle the first base position, but I don’t see either player moving there anytime soon. Lara has played 114 of his 116 games in the field at shortstop and has been better than expected defensively, and if he does have to move off that position it’ll be to third base or the corner outfield. Erceg’s considered a good defender with an excellent arm at third base, and given the state of that position in the org’s minor leagues, I don’t expect him to move off that position anytime soon, though he could perhaps pick up a little first base or corner outfield for versatility’s sake.

selvington02 asks:

If Dubon and Diaz

Both have another great minor league season, who gets the future call at 2nd? And on a related note, if Dubon continues to hit all the way to AAA next year and Arcia struggles, would the Brewers sell on Arcia to make room for Dubon. Likewise should the brew crew sell on Villar to make room for Dubon or Diaz?

I’m firmly in the camp of trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves with questions like this. At this point, there’s still a better chance that neither Dubon nor Diaz even plays in the major leagues, let alone become starting-caliber players. If I had to pick between keeping Arcia and Villar, I’d pick Villar - but we’re probably a good 2-3 years away from having to make a decision like that should all those players pan out as you hope.

Aaron128 asks:

What's the chance that the Brewers trade away four starting pitchers next season?

I read this article on that talks about some questions heading into 2017. In that article Adam McCalvy talks about the logjam in the rotation and that we could see trades coming to fix that and to bring more young talent into the organization. And as I though about it, the Brewers have Matt Garza, Chase Anderson, Tommy Milone and Junior Guerra who are all either not under club control for much longer or are in their thirties.

There has been continued interest in Guerra, and to see Anderson heading to another city relatively soon would not be a shocker, either. If the Brewers deal one starting pitcher by the start of the season, let’s just say it’s Guerra, since he’s generated the most interest so far, the Crew would have six pitchers that could start games (Anderson, Garza, Milone, Zach Davies, Wily Peralta and Jimmy Nelson). They could hold onto Milone and either go with a six-man rotation to start the season or stick one of the pitchers in the bullpen with the idea that at least one of the starting five will be dealt as the season progresses. If Milone, Garza and Anderson are all in the rotation, it’s not unlikely that they will be on contending teams’ radars.

It doesn’t seem very likely that the Brewers would do it this way, but wouldn’t it be worth a try? They can also cut Garza, Milone or Anderson should they not perform well enough to be traded. However, Iván Nova was traded from New York to Pittsburgh with a 4.90 ERA and Francisco Liriano had an ERA of 5.46 before being shipped from the Pirates to the Blue Jays, so a trade still does seem possible even if the pitcher in question hasn’t performed very well…

I’m not sure what the rush is to try and get rid of starting pitchers. The Brewers had 9 players make at least one start last year and 11 players make at least one start in 2015. Injuries are going to happen, attrition is going to happen, and most of the prospects that we’re in love with are going to end up as relievers or not make the big leagues.

I could see the Brewers maybe dealing 1-2 guys before the season begins, maybe one of their better starters and/or Garza, but I don’t see an extreme motivation to make a deal from the club’s perspective. Ultimately I think the team goes into the year with Guerra/Davies/Nelson/Peralta/Anderson with Garza either in long relief or on the DL, and Tommy Milone probably in the bullpen.

Ullsperj asks:

The Brewers bench next season consists of?

Chances Scooter is there? Doesn’t look like there is much interest on the trade market for second baseman in general. I like him there actually. Not very flexible as he’s kind of a one dimensional player, but provides good depth in the event of some middle infield injuries or ineffectiveness.

I still think there’s a good chance that Gennett gets dealt before the year starts, but if not, the bench may look something like this:

2B Gennett
IF/OF Perez
OF Niewenhuis
C Bandy / Pina
IF Sogard / IF Rivera / OF Reed

I do think that if Gennett makes the roster, Perez would more the “fifth outfielder” and the club would keep an extra infielder like Sogard or Rivera rather than an extra outfielder like Reed.

drezdn asks:

What are your expectations for Arcia in 2017?

I’d be pretty content if he could hit something like .270/.310/.390 with 8-10 home runs, 10-15 steals, and then his signature defense at shortstop. I don’t personally feel that Arcia will ever be much of an offensive threat.

Thanks for the questions everyone, and thanks for making 2016 a great year at Brew Crew Ball! As a site, we published more than 1,000 articles that generated more than 3,000,000 views this past year.

So now for my question for you all:

What was your favorite post on Brew Crew Ball in 2016?

Leave your responses in the comments section below!

(to save you all some time, here’s the link to the Hank the Dog story)