The position to pay attention to for the upcoming Brewers season

The trade for outfielder Christian Yelich, the signing of former All-Star outfielder Lorenzo Cain, the experiment of moving Ryan Braun from the outfield to first base and the push for another starting pitcher have dominated the offseason storylines for the Milwaukee Brewers. But it’s another position that’s not garnering headlines that fans of the team should be keeping an eye on — second base.

Why? Well, the Brewers were one of the worst teams in baseball when it came to production out of that position in 2017. The push to fix it has left Milwaukee with a lot of options as well as question marks. The players who are poised to see time at second base this season are Jonathan Villar, Eric Sogard, Hernan Perez, and Mauricio Dubon.

A name missing there is Neil Walker. The Brewers traded for the veteran last season, but in the wake of the Yelich trade and Cain singing, it’s unlikely Milwaukee brings him back.

The first option, and the one with the most upside, is Jonathan Villar. The switch-hitting Villar is coming off a disappointing season in 2017 after a big year during the 2016 campaign. At 26 years olf, Villar is relatively young and still learning how to play the game at the major league level.

Some of his errors in the field and on the bases were head-scratching, but can be manageable when he produces like he did in 2016. That season, Villar hit .285 with 19 home runs and 63 RBIs from the lead-off spot. He also added 63 stolen bases, which led Major League Baseball.

Last season, Villar hit .241 with 11 home runs and 40 RBIs. His numbers were down pretty much across the board, but took significant hits in stolen bases, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Overall, Villar had a lot more swings and misses in 2017, which didn’t allow him to get on base, and ultimately steal bases. Milwaukee already has a scary lineup, but if it gets the 2016 version of Villar, it could field one of the best offenses in baseball.

Eric Sogard is coming off one of his best seasons as a professional, and is another candidate to get time at second base. Sogard has had injury issues that have plagued his career, but stayed relatively healthy for the Brewers last season. He signed a one-year deal with Milwaukee right after the season and should be a heavily used utility player.

Hernan Perez, like Sogard, should be used as a utility player once again this season and should see spot starts at second. Perez is the most versatile player on the Brewers roster and potentially in the major leagues. He played every position beside catcher last season, including getting one inning on the mound.

Perez will find playing time at many positions this season, and could find a permanent spot at second base if Villar doesn’t produce and Sogard doesn’t stay healthy.

The biggest wildcard of all the players is Mauricio Dubon. The 23-year-old from Honduras is practically a spitting image of the team’s shortstop — Orlando Arcia. He came up playing the same spot, but the Brewers moved him to second base due to Arcia playing at such a high level. Dubon like Arcia, is a slick fielding infielder with a cannon for an arm.

He’s a player that will hit for average, steal bases, and play gold glove caliber defense. Dubon won’t bring the power that Villar or Perez will, but the Brewers lineup might not need that from him. He appeared in the MLB Futures Game last season and had a nice performance. It’s unlikely that he’ll start the season in the big leagues, but should see some time with the major league club.

For my money, I think Brewers fans should hope for a bounce back season from Villar, as he has the highest ceiling of any of the potential second base candidates this season. I like having guys like Sogard and Perez as key utility players, who can play multiple positions and are a reliable bat off the bench. I’ve been a Dubon advocate for a couple of years now, and am looking forward to see what he can do when he arrives in the big leagues. I don’t think he will have a huge impact on the team this season, but could be the second baseman of the future.

Here’s why the Brewers should hold on to OF Domingo Santana

With the trade for Christian Yelich and the signing of Lorenzo Cain last week, the Brewers now have a surplus of outfielders. Besides Yelich and Cain, Milwaukee also has Ryan Braun, Keon Broxton, and Brett Phillips, all who primarily play the three outfield positions.

Undoubtedly, the Brewers will have to move some of the outfielders on their roster, but should hold on to Domingo Santana, who had a breakout season in 2017. Santana’s name has come up  in multiple reports as a player the Brewers are currently shopping. Many have speculated that Milwaukee will be likely looking to trade Santana for a high-end starting pitcher.

The Brewers and Santana have been linked to teams and players such as the Tampa Bay Rays with Chris Archer and the Cleveland Indians with most notably Danny Salazar. It makes sense that Milwaukee would look into potential trade partners for Santana, but should at least think about holding on to a player of his caliber.

Since coming to Milwaukee as part of the trade that sent Carlos Gomez to the Houston Astros, Santana’s numbers have shown continued improvement. His batting average, on-base percentage, slugging, and OPS, were all up in each of the last three seasons. Not only has his batting production increased, but his defensive runs saved and adjusted range statistics have also improved. He also has a cannon for an arm out in right field. MLB Network ranked Santana as the 8th best right fielder heading into 2018.

The Brewers have also talked about moving Ryan Braun to first base, which would make sense since he took a step back in the outfield last season, but is still a bat you want in the lineup. Braun used to be an above-average outfielder, but age and injuries have started to take its toll. Of the five outfielders listed above, Braun is the worst outfielder of the group.

Santana’s contract goes right along with both Yelich and Cain’s deals. Cain will be under contract through the 2022 season making an average of $16 million a year. Yelich is under club control through 2022, making an average of just over $7 million per year, while Santana is under contract through 2021 and is eligible for arbitration for the first time in 2019. Overall the outfield of Cain, Yelich, and Santana will be under contract for the next four to five years at a reasonable price.

The Brewers also still have a good enough farm system to trade for a top-end starter. Prior to the Yelich trade, a move in which Milwaukee sent three top 100 prospect to the Marlins, the team’s farm system was ranked eighth by Baseball America. On Monday, the outlet had Milwaukee at No. 11. The Brewers still have three prospects ranked in the top 100 and two more who just narrowly missed the cut. The cupboard definitely isn’t bare in Milwaukee.

Overall, if the Brewers hold on to Santana, they would have one of the most productive outfields in MLB both offensively and defensively. Santana also has a very team-friendly deal and would be under contract for another four years, which would give Milwaukee financial flexibility. The Brewers also have a good enough farm system to go out and acquire top-end talent with the prospects they still have in the minor leagues.

Report: Brewers have put together trade package for Yelich

According to Sirius XM Radio Host Craig Mish the Milwaukee Brewers have put together a trade offer for Miami Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich.

The report was later confirmed by Joe Frisaro, the reporter for the Marlins.

Frisaro reports that the Marlins have an interest in Milwaukee prospect Lewis Brinson. Brinson is the top prospect in the Milwaukee system, according to He made his Major League debut last season, playing in 21 games. Brinson had a slash line of .106/.236/.277, totaling two home runs and three runs batted in.

Yelich has expressed his interest in being traded from the Marlins after they have already sold off key players in Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon, and Marcell Ozuna. Last season he hit 18 home runs while driving in 81 runs and posting a 3.9 Wins Above Replacement (WAR).

Yelich has four years remaining on a seven-year deal worth $49.57 million. He also has a $15 million dollar option for the 2022 season. His 2018 salary is $7 million.

Who should the Brewers pursue: Arrieta, Darvish, or Archer

The Milwaukee Brewers have been relatively quiet this offseason, but in the past week, the Brewers have been linked to a number of top pitching free agents such as Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish. They have also been mentioned in trade talks with teams such as the Tampa Bay Rays for starting pitcher Chris Archer.

Brewers GM David Stearns has had a flawless track record when it comes to making trades, signing free agents, and scouring the waiver wire. I have total confidence in Stearns and the decision he ultimately makes, since he’s never done anything for me to question his ability to do his job.

But for those of us who are playing GM and commenting on who we think the Brewers should sign, here’s a breakdown of three of the big names the Brewers have been rumored to be interested in: Arrieta, Darvish, Archer.

  • Age:
    • Arrieta- turns 32 in March of 18′
    • Darvish | turns 32 in August of 18′
    • Archer- turns 30 in September of 18′
  • Number of seasons in the MLB:
    • Arrieta- 8
    • Darvish- 5 (played in Japan for 7 seasons prior to joining MLB)
    • Archer- 6
  • Number of seasons logging 200+ innings:
    • Arrieta- 1
    • Darvish- 1
    • Archer- 3
  • Number of seasons striking out 200+ batters:
    • Arrieta- 1
    • Darvish- 3
    • Archer- 3
  • Number of seasons having an ERA under 3.50:
    • Arrieta- 3
    • Darvish- 3
    • Archer- 3
  • Number of seasons having a WHIP under 1.30:
    • Arrieta- 5
    • Darvish- 5
    • Archer- 6
  • What the Brewers would have to give up:
    • Arrieta- compensation pick
    • Darvish- nothing
    • Archer- prospects
  • What the player is commanding in free agency:
    • Arrieta- 160 million over 6 years (26.67M/Yr)
    • Darvish- 110 million over 5 years (22 M/Yr)
    • Archer- Under contract till 2021 (7.56 M/Yr)

For my money, I’d like to see the Brewers deal some of their prospects to acquire a pitcher like Chris Archer. Archer is younger than both Arrieta and Darvish and would be under club control through 2021. His contract would be much less than the huge contracts Arrieta and Darvish would be asking for.

The Brewers will also need to unload some of their prospects by December of 2018, because many of their high profile prospects will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft in 2019 and will potentially be lost.

Prospects Isan Diaz (6th), Monte Harrison (14th), Trey Supak (16th), Jake Gatewood (18th), Cody Ponce (21st), Josh Pennington (22nd), Kodi Medeiros (23rd), Phil Bickford (24th), Carlos Herrera (30th) are all eligible for the Rule 5 draft after next season. That is nine of the Brewers top-30 prospects that could be lost if not given a roster spot on the Brewers 40-man roster this upcoming December.





Brewers ink reliever for 2018 season

The Milwaukee Brewers have signed left-handed pitcher Boone Logan to a one-year deal for the 2018 season. The deal also includes a team option for the 2019 season.

Logan has spent 12 seasons in Major League Baseball with five different teams. In 2017 Logan was with the Cleveland Indians where he pitched in 38 games. He finished the season with a 4.71 earned run average and 28 strikeouts over the course of 21 innings pitched.

Logan was placed on the disabled list with a strained left lat muscle in July and did not return to action during the season.

The deal is reportedly worth $2.5 million guaranteed for the 2018 season, according to Adam McCalvy of

Brewers announce award winners

While the Milwaukee Brewers were unable to find their way into the postseason they did have a season not many expected. Today they announced which players have been honored with team postseason awards, as voted on by a five-person committee from the Milwaukee Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Brewers pitcher Brent Suter was voted as the team’s Unsung Hero winner. This year Suter bounced back and forth between Milwaukee and the minor leagues. He spent six separate stints with the Brewers, going 3-2 with a 3.42 earned run average in 22 games for the club. He made 14 starts for the team. Last year’s winner of the award was Hernán Pérez.

Sticking on the pitching staff, closer Corey Knebel was named the team’s Most Valuable Pitcher. Knebel made 76 appearances for the team, totaling 76 saves while posting a 1.78 ERA. He also was tied for the Major League lead in strikeouts by a reliever with 126, which was a team record. Knebel also set the Major League record for most consecutive relief appearances with a strikeout at 45. Last season Junior Guerra took home the award.

Third baseman Travis Shaw takes home multiple awards, winning the team Most Valuable Player and Newcomer of the Year. He was acquired via a trade with the Boston Red Sox last offseason. Shaw hit .273 with 31 home runs and 101 runs batted in for the Brewers this year. Shaw unseats Ryan Braun, who had been the team’s MVP the previous two seasons.

Counsell in good position to win NL Manager of the Year

Craig Counsell is starting to gain national recognition for the job he’s done this season as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. Counsell has led the Brewers to a 65-60 record and only two games out of the National League Central Division race and two and a half games out the Wild Card hunt.

This was a Brewers team thought to be in the second year of a rebuild. The team was only projected to win 72 games this season, but are currently on pace to win 84-85 games. Milwaukee has overachieved in almost every aspect this season.

The starting pitching has been one of the better rotations ERA wise in the national league pretty much the whole season. The bullpen has gotten stronger since general manager David Stearns made a few deadline deals to add veteran arms to the back-end of the bullpen.

Young players such as Domingo Santana and Orlando Arcia have also had break-out seasons, which has helped fuel the Brewers offense. Travis Shaw, who was acquired from the Boston Red Sox this winter, has also been having his best season as a pro.

Counsell’s biggest competition will be Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. Roberts has led the Dodgers to the best record in baseball at 87-35. The team is currently on pace to win 116 games, which would be one of the best regular seasons in Major League Baseball history.

Roberts shot at winning the award could be hurt by the star-studded Dodgers roster and the fact that they have the highest payroll in baseball. Some voters will probably hesitate to vote for him since he won NL Manager of the Year last season.

As long as Counsell and the Brewers don’t have a monumental collapse in September, he should be the favorite to take home Manager of the Year honors.


Report: Brewers activate Stephen Vogt from DL

The Milwaukee Brewers have activated catcher Stephen Vogt from the 10-day disabled list. For a corresponding move, the Brewers placed catcher Andrew Susac on the 10-day disabled list with a right trapezius strain.

Vogt hasn’t played since July 18th against the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he suffered a sprained knee and had concussion-like symptoms.

The injuries occurred from a collision at the plate between Vogt and Pirates pitcher Chad Kuhl.

Vogt held on to the ball and Kuhl was called out, but Vogt caught an elbow to the head and bent his knee back awkwardly. The Brewers trainers rushed out to evaluate his head and neck and briefly checked out his knee.

Vogt provides a left-handed power bat to the Brewers lineup, which they’ve been missing in his absents. The two-time All-Star was swinging the bat well for Milwaukee before the injury. The Brewers will hope he regains his swing starting this weekend’s series against the Colorado Rockies.


Report: Anderson to start Sunday

The Milwaukee Brewers announced their starting pitchers for this weekend’s series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors field. According to a report from Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy, Chase Anderson is feeling good and will pitch Sunday’s series finale against the Rockies

The plan was for Anderson to make three rehab starts before rejoining the team sometime next week. His third rehab start with Triple-A Colorado Springs was scheduled for Friday, but was cancelled altogether.

The Brewers are currently using a 4-man pitching rotation since they put starting pitcher Brent Suter on the disabled list with a left rotator cuff strain. Brandon Woodruff will start the first game of the series on Friday, and Matt Garza will start the Saturday game.

Report: Brinson out 4-6 weeks

The Milwaukee Brewers top prospect Lewis Brinson left Tuesday night’s game for Triple-A Colorado Springs with a left leg injury. Brinson was seen with a noticeable limp after coming up lame while running to first base. His injury didn’t look good as it happened, and he was later pinch-hit for an inning later.

According to a report by the Milwaukee Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy, Brinson will miss 4-6 weeks with a strained left hamstring. This could potentially be the rest of his season, and the chance to be re-called for September call-ups.

Brinson had two stints at the major league level this season with the Milwaukee Brewers. In his second stint, he preformed at a much higher level than he did in his first. Brinson was having a big season in Triple-A Colorado Springs prior to the injury. He was batting .331 with 13 home runs and 48 RBIs in 76 games this season.