The Milwaukee Brewers are riding a four game losing streak, but today is the first #JuniorGuerraDay since Opening Day. It’s also Friday, so things seem to be trending in the right direction. Now that just needs to carry over to the field. Anyways, those questions...
The year is 1927...
Our boys are less than a decade removed from The Great War and baseball coming into its own as America’s Pastime. 22-skidoo! You came back from Europe, began working for the front office of the Red Sox, and have recently been promoted to general manager of the Boston 9. Your job is incumbent upon unseating the legendary Murderer’s Row Yankees from their dynasty. A tall task indeed, especially for a team that ended the ’26 season 47-105. When suddenly…
A guest named Bill James comes from the distant future of 2017 with knowledge of WHIP, WAR, xWOBA (and etc.), and Statcast data from the 1926 season. Before he leaves to kill Hitler, he has imparted in you all he knows about baseball analysis from his time. How much of an advantage do you think you would have over the rest of the league? How many years would it take you to catch the Yanks?
As far as evaluating players, it would give you a huge advantage. Instead of just relying on whatever rudimentary scouting methods there were back then, one would be able to dive deeper into things like contact rates and defense-independent pitching in order to figure out which players would actually be good going forward. Would’ve probably saved us from running Bill Regan and his .694 career OPS out there to play second base every day for 5 years.
It still would’ve been a tall task to catch the Murderer’s Row gang, given the rules for acquiring players back in those days. There was no free agency and players were basically owned by their team for as long as the team wanted to keep them under contract. So anyone brought in would have had to have been signed off the sandlots or traded for. But, having a statistical database on the players in the minor leagues would’ve been very helpful in identifying talent that my Red Sox should target and make trades for. Once that process got rolling, I guess it’d be something like a modern “rebuild” and take 3-5 years to get all that talent I’ve targeted into the system and developed.
Someone should probably try this in historical mode in OOTP and see how it plays out.
We're buyers at the deadline!
Which prospects or position players are we most likely to trade?
If the Brewers are buying at the deadline, it should mean that the offense has remained as one of the league’s best throughout the season so I don’t think they’d really need to shore up anything there. Starting pitching, however, has been the team’s Achilles Heel all season so it’d be nice to find another ace to pair with Junior Guerra at the top of the rotation. Ideally, I’d go after Chris Archer from Tampa Bay.
To get this deal done, I’m building a package around Josh Hader and Corey Ray. Both have high upsides, but personally I’m not all that confident in either player reaching their ceiling so I’d be willing to sell high on their prospect status now. Hader could be a mid-to-front of the rotation starter, but his command/control is still all over the place and ultimately I think he’ll wind up as a reliever. As for Ray, I wasn’t a huge fan of that pick in the first place, but the scouting community sure seems to like him. So let’s bundle those guys up with Marcos Diplan and Demi Orimoloye and get an inexpensive ace that’s under team control through 2020.
With Braun seemingly re-injuring his calf tonight...
If Braun’s injuries continue, should this prompt the Brewers to call up Brinson (or another OF prospect) earlier than expected for a stint in the majors? Or should the Brewers continue to keep everyone on their existing development tracks?
If Braun is going to be out for an extended period of time and everyday playing time becomes available, then I definitely think they should call up an outfield prospect. With Braun down the team is back to 2 true outfielders on the roster with Santana and Broxton. Perez has seen some time out there this season, but at this point I’d rather keep him freed up to roam around the diamond, DFA Nick Franklin, and call up Lewis Brinson.
With nearly 50 games in the books we should be close to past the Super 2 concerns, and even if that’s an issue he could always go back down when Braun comes back. But the guy is tearing the cover off the ball at Colorado Springs, hitting .308/.396/.493 with 4 homers in 32 games. Given his home park that only translates to a 131 wRC+, but that’s still pretty dang good. He’s not striking out excessively (which is important because his hit tool is his biggest scouting question) and has really improved his walk rate this year, currently 11.1% after taking a free pass in less than 5% of his plate appearances last year between AA and AAA. He’s got nearly a half-season of experience now altogether at the highest level of the minors and has performed very well, so why give him a trial to show what he can do in the big leagues if there are at-bats available?
Uncle Father Oscar asks:
Should I try the Brewers wine at Pick n Save?
I’m not much of a wine drinker at all, to be honest (if I’m drinking, which only happens occasionally, it’s probably a rum and diet). But here is how the Brewers’ wine is described on the “wine” section of Brewers.com:
Milwaukee Brewers™ Club Series
2015 California Cabernet Sauvignon
The Brewers™ Club Series Red Wine is aged in a combination of French and American oak, from vineyards planted in California’s premium wine regions. It’s a medium bodied wine with flavors of blackberries, cherries and spice. A bold and complex finish lands you just where you want to be.
If that sounds palatable to you, then I would go for it. The more money we spend on the team-branded paraphernalia, the more money Mark A. will have to put back into the payroll. Right?
Thanks for the great questions this week everyone! Now, let’s hope the #2017BrewersAce is in top form tonight and can get another winning streak started to propel the Milwaukee Nine back into first place.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs