How was your week

Posted: March 30, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Coming into the 2019 baseball season I wasn’t as high on the Milwaukee Brewers as most people seemed to be. In the majority of the pre-season predictions had the Brewers repeating as NL Central champions. Where do I have the Brewers finishing; well I have them in 3rd place.

Now I know that most everyone is going to say that it’s just an over reaction after two games. Of course if you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast you know that I’ve been talking about the Brewers bullpen situation all off season and if the first two games are any indication it’s going to play out the way I was afraid it would.

I’ve been saying all along that with the Brewers manager their pitching staff that they would burn out their bullpen in the regular season and they’re on their way to doing that.

In the first game of the season the Brewers got 5 1/3rd innings out of their starter Jhoulys Chacin leaving those final 3 2/3rd innings for the bullpen to cover; which they did as the Brewers picked up a 5-4 opening day win.

Of course it took a great play by Lorenzo Cain for the Brewers to win pick up that win. Cain brought back what would’ve been the game tying home run by Jose Martinez of the St. Louis Cardinals with two outs in the Top of the 9th.

Now I’m not saying that Milwaukee wouldn’t of won the game in the Bottom of the 9th inning or in extra innings, but if the game did go into extra innings the bullpen would’ve had to of been extended in the first game of the season.

As it was Milwaukee’s closer Josh Hader ended up pitching the final 2 innings to get the save for the Brewers. Of course after pitching 2 innings you have to wonder when Hader or Junior Guerra who pitched 1 2/3rd innings would be available to pitch again.

Coming into last nights game I’m sure the Brewers where hoping to get some innings out of young starter Freddy Peralta, but sadly he lasted just 3 innings in his start. That left the Brewers bullpen 6 innings to cover and they did using 5 different relievers, but Hader and Guerra didn’t appear. On the plus side only one of the Brewers 5 relievers that appeared in the game pitched more than 1 inning; so they should all be able to pitch today if needed.

Now in two games this season and I know it’s just a small sample size the Brewers have gotten just 8 1/3rd innings out of their starting pitcher. That leaves a large amount of inning for the bullpen to cover.

Don’t forget that the Brewers bullpen was battling some injury issues coming into the season and the news didn’t get any better yesterday.

Milwaukee knew that they’d be without starter Brent Suter for the season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. It looked like Jimmy Nelson was going to be back in the Brewers starting rotation from shoulder surgery that cost him all of the 2018 season. Unfortunately for the Brewers Nelson is starting the season on the Injured List.

The Brewers acquired Bobby Wahl from the New York Mets in the Keon Broxton trade and they where hoping he’d be able to help in the bullpen. Wahl however torn the ACL ligament in his right knee and will miss all of the 2019 season.

Jeremy Jeffress was a big part of the Brewers last season appearing in 73 regular season games picking up 15 saves. Jeffress also appeared in 9 post season games last season. Milwaukee was expecting Jeffress to not only be a big part of the bullpen again, but also help with closing games. Jeffress is another one of the Brewers pitchers who’s starting the season on the Injured List as he recovers from what’s being called shoulder discomfort. The timetable for Jeffress return is listed at two to three weeks.

Then the bad news hit the Brewers yesterday as it was reported that Corey Knebel has elected to have Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2019 season. Knebel has apparently been dealing with an elbow issue off and on for some time now and it spears as he just decided it was time to get that elbow repaired.

Knebel has been the Brewers #1 closer for the past two seasons, but injuries limited him to just 57 appearances last season. He did save 16 games in 2018 after picking up 39 saves in 2017. Knebel was healthy enough come playoff time last season. He pitched in 9 post season games and picked up 1 save for the Brewers.

The Brewers bullpen consists of Hader as the closer with Jacob Barnes as the main set up guy. Junior Guerra, Alex Claudio, Taylor Williams, Matt Albers and Alex Wilson will help fill in where needed. The Brewers did move former starter Chase Anderson into the bullpen to serve as the long man.

The Brewers do have veterans Jake Petricka and Josh Fields in Triple-A; so you have to wonder if we’ll see a lot of shuttling relievers back and forth between the major leagues and Triple-A.

The return of Jeffress will be a big help to the Brewers bullpen, but even with him back if the starting rotation can’t cover enough innings the bullpen is going to be out of gas in the second half of the season.

Now just a opening day was coming around there where quite a few reports that the Brewers had been in contact with free agent reliever Craig Kimbrel. There hasn’t been any updates on any talks between the Brewers and Kimbrel, but apparently the talks are “ongoing”.

With Knebel out for the season and Jeffress on the Injured List Kimbrel seems like the perfect fit for the Brewers bullpen, but he’ll com with some questions. Will Kimbrel come off of his demands of a 5 year contract? and then you have to wonder how long would it take Kimbrel to get ready? Then you’d have to wonder if Kimbrel would be installed as the Brewers full time closer or if he’d just ne added to the mix of reliver that close games in Milwaukee. Kimbrel has always been a full time closer; so could he adjust to being just a part of a bullpen mix if he had to.

Will have to wait and see how the Brewers bullpen plays out and if it holds up all season long, but as you know I have my concerns.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want.

Don’ forget to look me up on Twitter @Burketime.

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