An interesting piece of information coming out of Brewers camp concerns how Milwaukee will sequence their starting rotation coming out of the break. Since Brandon Woodruff pitched like the Brewers’ ace in the first half and Zach Davies pitched well too, it could be assumed that they would cover the first two games against the San Francisco Giants on Friday and Saturday. Well hold your horses!
Fantasy baseballers: The Brewers pitching rotation coming out of the All-Star break goes like so --— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) July 11, 2019
While Zach Davies will get the Saturday matchup with the Giants, Chase Anderson will toe the rubber for the initial game after the All-Star Break. While Anderson has been pretty good of late, how on Earth does he get the nod in the first game back over the All-Star? Well there is logic behind the decision that has been articulated.
Before everyone has an aneurysm about Woodruff going fifth, the idea was to get him a bit of a breather over the break. They mapped it out and he will get the same # of starts as he would have leading off the second half, Counsell said.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) July 11, 2019
Brandon Woodruff was noticeably excited about being an All-Star and giving him a bit of time to relax back into his regular routine might be a good strategy for the young, budding ace of the Brewers. On another note, Woodruff has pitched 108 innings so far this season. He pitched in 158 innings in 2016 in the minors, and he has not approached that total since. He is likely to blow past that amount by a large margin barring injury. Putting Woodruff fifth in the sequencing might be a small way to push back his innings numbers just a tad.
There might be another reason for putting Woodruff fifth in line coming out of the break. The way things line up right now, Woodruff would pitch against the NL East leading Braves on July 16. His next scheduled start would be against the Diamondbacks in Arizona on July 21. And ultimately on July 27, he will face off against Chicago when they come to town during the last weekend in July. He would also get a scheduled start against the Cubs when the Brewers head to Chicago for the following weekend series between the two teams. All of this sets up for Woodruff’s next four starts being in important matchups from a Brewers perspective.
Craig Counsell, David Stearns, and anyone else that may have had something to do with the decision making behind the rotational alignment might have had the other four pitchers in mind when putting things together too. First of all, Chase Anderson last pitched on the 7th of July. Pitching him on the 12th means that Anderson pitches on his normal five day routine.
Pitching Zach Davies on the 13th means little other than he is the second best pitcher in the rotation. He has no pitching limitations. He gets some rest since he pitched last on July 5. The amount of rest he gets, however, is not as meaningful as say it would be for Jhoulys Chacin.
Chacin gets the final game against San Francisco on July 14. He last pitched on July 3. That is a meaningful break for the veteran right hander. Hopefully the break allows him to get things back to something approaching his 2018 level of performance.
Adrian Houser gets the fourth spot in the rotation mix. This might be Gio Gonzalez’s spot when he returns. This gives Houser potential opportunities, but he is pushed back further, so Gonzalez can take that spot when ready. Houser last pitched on July 6.