A 24 run outburst during a week usually leads to some nice looking overall stats, but the Brewers scored often most of the week. Unfortunately, that only translated into a 3-3-1 week, with a couple of one run losses thrown in.
TOP HITTING STORY: Let’s continue looking at the team as a whole. For the week, the Brewers scored 63 runs; they hit .360, on-based at .458, and slugged .598. That’s and OPS of 1.058. 36 extra base hits in 7 games is impressive. They did strike out 65 times, and for the spring are 3rd in that category.
Eric Thames’ bat showed some life this week, and his spring totals now stand at .281/.395/.406, OPS at .801. I would hope for more power, but this line is acceptable - especially if it comes along with a platoon (more or less) with Jesus Aguilar (team leading 4 homers, and a slash of .417/.512/.806, OPS 1.317).
TOP PITCHING STORY: Once again, the team as a whole: an OK WHIP of 1.327 resulted in a too-high ERA of 5.31. Pitchers struck out only 45 hitters, or 6.6 per game - and of course, there are arms out there that we won’t see later.
There are some encouraging things out of Jimmy Nelson this spring. (A 6.43 ERA isn’t one of them.) In only 7 innings, though, he has a WHIP of 1.29, has only walked 1, has allowed just 1 HR, and struck out 12. He’s working on a split-finger changeup (the Brewers’ secret weapon), and if he can pitch consistently this season it will help the bullpen a lot.
IMHO: A 24 run differential should probably lead to better than a .500 record, but you can’t bank the runs and use them in the close games. It remains to be seen if the Brewer bullpen will be able to hold close leads, but once we are down to the group that Craig Counsell will go with - and once the season starts - we’ll see. Probable closer Neftali Feliz hasn’t walked a batter in his 6 innings of work, which is encouraging. Having Carlos Torres back and working those 6th through 8th innings may help. But this may be a fluid situation all year.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK: With another round of roster reductions this week, it is evident that the Brewers are going with Kirk Nieuwenhuis as the 4th outfielder, sending down Lewis Brinson, Brett Phillips, and Ryan Cordell. This continues the conversation of the make-up of the bench, and the status of the aforementioned Jesus Aguilar. It’s almost impossible to imagine a scenario where he wouldn’t make the final roster (well, I suppose he could be traded...), and I’d sure rather see his bat playing at least a few times a week in relief of Thames or pinch hitting than Michael Reed’s.
Junbug 11 summed things up nicely:
Have to consider options too
If Reed has an option and Aguilar doesn’t, that should be an easy decision.
Things can be summed up simply when they are simple.
Looking forward to more hitting this week, and with the Brewers at 12-10, 4th in the Cactus Cup standings and trailing the Mariners by 2.5 games, we are down to crunch time. Boy, that tie might just be the difference between glory and another wasted spring.
And oh! Junior Guerra will start opening day! Not a well kept secret.