The Brewers need to continue to search for bullpen pieces

The Milwaukee Brewers have reportedly signed relief pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen to a minor league deal after he was released by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Wilhelmsen was previously drafted by the Brewers but injuries and drug issues derailed his time with the organization. He did have some solid seasons with the Seattle Mariners, where he saved 53 games between 2012-2013.  The Diamondbacks are paying most of his contract for the remaining of his season with the Brewers. If he doesn’t work out, it wont really affect the Brewers payroll. This isn’t a big-time move, but it’s the type of move the Brewers need to continue to make.

The organization’s rebuild is obviously ahead of schedule. The Brewers shouldn’t be going “all-in” on this season just because they are contending in the National League Central. They shouldn’t be selling off big name prospects in order to land a solid pitcher. Being a “buyer” at the deadline to try to make a playoff push could compromise the farm system. It’s a top-rated farm system that  David Stearns  has worked hard to bolster the past two seasons. That doesn’t mean that Stearns shouldn’t continue to make moves or small-time deals to try to improve the current team. He should continue to search free agency as well as the waiver wire to try to find serviceable arms for the Brewers bullpen.

Recent Moves

Former Brewers general manager Doug Melvin as well as Stearns have already shown that they can find players to help the team win. Lots of players currently on the Brewers roster have been waiver wire, minor league, or small signing deals. Some of the players who have been claimed off of waivers by the Brewers in the past few years are, Hernan Perez, Junior Guerra, Jesus Aguilar, Nick Franklin, and Oliver Drake. Other small signings that have occurred the last couple years are Eric Sogard, Jared Hughes, and Paolo Espino. Obviously not all of the moves the Brewers have made have worked out, but the majority has.

(AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Neftali Feliz definitely didn’t work out for the Brewers and was designated for assignment and ultimately released by the team. The team has also gotten rid of Rob Scahill, Jhan Marinez, and Tommy Milone, all of who weren’t able to get the job done this season.  If I was in the Brewers front office I would definitely be designating a few more relievers for assignment (DFA).

Proposed Moves

The first guy I’d have to start with is Wily Peralta. At the beginning of the season, I was all for giving him as many opportunities as possible. I was just hoping he could get back to his 2014 form.  After watching the Pirates game on Monday night, I’ve seen enough. He needs to go. Another reliever that needs to be DFA’d would be Oliver Drake. He was a veteran given another chance to potentially make the team, but in my opinion hasn’t done enough to deserve a spot in the bullpen. I may be in the minority on this one, but I’d be willing to give Carlos Torres a little more leash after the success he showed last season. The Brewers should continue to give veteran pitchers like Wilhelmsen, who have had success at the major league level a chance.

 

The absolute worst case scenario would be that the Brewers never end up finding any guys that can really come in and anchor down the bullpen, but that would leave them back to square one.  The Brewers already have the lowest payroll in baseball, so the addition of minimal salaries shouldn’t greatly affect it or their willingness to sign players. And we all know how bad Brewers owner Mark Anttanasio wants to win. I think he would be for whatever move may help the Brewers contend now and in the future. Going after more low-risk relief pitchers  would be the best way for the organization to go about trying to win now as well as keep the farm system in tact and not derail the future.

Travis Shaw’s 2-run walk-off HR pushes the Brewers past Chicago

Faced with the same extra innings situation they had been in the last two nights, the Milwaukee Brewers were determined to change the outcome on Saturday — and they did. After watching the Chicago Cubs score in the top of the 10th inning in each of the last two games and go on to win, […]

0 comments

Milwaukee blows late lead, loses 5-3 in 10 innings to Chicago

For a second straight night the Milwaukee Brewers lost in agonizing fashion, this time a 5-3 setback to the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs. Manager Craig Counsell’s club took a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning against the defending World Series champions, only to see shortstop Javy Baez drive in the tying run off of Jeremy […]

0 comments

Brewers beat Pittsburgh 1-0, move to within a game of Colorado in wild card race

The Milwaukee Brewers continued their push towards the postseason Tuesday night with a 1-0 shutout victory over Pittsburgh. Chase Anderson threw six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts to pick up his 11th win of the year, though it didn’t come easy. In the sixth inning, Pittsburgh managed to get a runner to third with no […]

0 comments

Brewers pitching falls apart in 8-1 loss to Pirates

MILWAUKEE — An area of weakness reared its ugly head as the Milwaukee Brewers fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 Monday night.

That weakness was relief pitching. Wily Peralta took over for Matt Garza in the sixth inning only to leave an inning later after allowing four runs to score on five hits. But by the time Peralta was taken out in favor of Paolo Espino, the damage was done and Milwaukee couldn’t climb out of the 8-1 hole.

“I think the ability to create ground balls was really [Peralta’s] strength with his fastball,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said after the loss. “The velocity is usually what makes the slider a better pitch, but we’re not getting either, really.”

The Brewers’ bullpen has now allowed 130 runs this season (third most in MLB), while maintaining its last-place ranking with 19 losses.

But Garza’s 5.1 innings didn’t give Milwaukee the start it needed to succeed, with a sixth inning Andrew McCutchen home run giving the Pirates a 4-1 lead. Opposing pitcher Gerrit Cole even helped his cause with a sacrifice base hit.

The Brewers offense can be summed up by the solo home run in the second inning from Travis Shaw that just escaped over the center field wall. That was one of just five hits Milwaukee recorded on the night.

Martinez, Cardinals silence the Brewers’ bats in a 2-1 win

In a battle between two starting pitchers that had struggled of late, it was Carlos Martinez and the St. Louis Cardinals that came out on top with a 2-1 victory over Wily Peralta and the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

Looking for his first win of the year, Martinez went 7 1/3 innings, giving up just one run on four hits while striking out four. The top four hitters for Milwaukee went 1 of 14 against the righty as the Brewers scored one run or fewer for just the third time this season.

The Cardinals scored both of their runs in the sixth, chasing Wily Peralta with one out in the inning and a pair of runners on base. Manager Craig Counsell called on reliever Jacob Barnes to get them out of the jam, but he was unable to do so, giving up a sacrifice fly that scored one and a single to Kolton Wong that scored the other.

Peralta got the loss with a final line that saw him go 5 1/3 innings with the two runs allowed while striking out seven.

A Jett Bandy single in the top of the seventh inning got Milwaukee within one run, but the Crew was unable to get the tying run across, leaving a runner stranded at third in both the seventh and eighth innings.

The loss dropped Milwaukee back to .500 (14-14) on the year.

It’ll be the same two teams at Busch Stadium Wednesday night.

Brewers finish off a sweep of the Reds, Thames leaves with injury

The Cincinnati Reds are all the Milwaukee Brewers need to feel good about themselves.

For a sixth time in seven games this year, the Crew came out on top against their NL Central rivals, this time a 9-4 victory on Wednesday afternoon to finish off a three-game sweep.

Milwaukee jumped all over pitcher Rookie Davis, chasing him after just 2 2/3rds innings, and tagging him with eight runs – seven earned – on 11 hits to move back above .500 on the year.

Outfielder Ryan Braun got things started with a two-run double in the first and that was followed by three more runs in the opening inning. In the third, Orlando Arcia drilled a two-run homer that pushed Milwaukee’s lead to 8-1 and the Reds wouldn’t come close to challenging the rest of the way.

Wily Peralta got the win, though he didn’t have his best stuff. He went five innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, with seven strikeouts and a pair of walks to improve to 4-1 on the year.

Eric Thames, who had homered in his first six games against the Reds, did not go yard again, but did score twice before leaving with tightness in his left hamstring. He told reporters afterwards that it wasn’t serious and he doesn’t expect to miss any time.

Milwaukee has Thursday off, but will open a weekend series against the Atlanta Braves on Friday at Miller Park.

Wainwright dominates the Brewers in a 6-3 win for St. Louis

Milwaukee had no answer for Adam Wainwright on the mound or at the plate Friday night, as St. Louis earned a 6-3 win over the Brewers.

The Cardinals starter made it five innings, giving up two runs on six hits and striking out nine to pick up his first win of the year, but he was even more impressive when swinging his bat. Wainwright drilled a 2-run homer in the third inning, and followed that up with a 2-run single the next inning, finishing the night with four RBI’s.

“He’s certainly, for a pitcher, capable of swinging the bat, but he’s also (still) a pitcher. We’ve got to make pitches on those guys,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said afterwards. “He had a big night. His two at-bats were the difference in the game, for sure. Give him credit.”

All the damage he did was against Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta, who lost for the first time this year. He gave up all six runs over his four innings of work, and for just the third time in his career, he didn’t record a single strikeout.

Milwaukee’s bullpen did some good work in relief of Peralta, allowing just three hits and no runs over the final five innings.

The Brewers bats were largely silent, though a Ryan Braun homer in the eighth inning stretched the number of games they’ve hit at least one home run to 13 straight.

It’ll be the same two teams on Saturday night at Miller Park. First pitch is at 6:10 p.m.

Peralta earns his second win in the Brewers 4-3 victory over Toronto

The Milwaukee Brewers ruined Opening Day in Toronto last night, coming out 4-3 winners against the Blue Jays.

The Crew got another very good outing from Wily Peralta, who picked up his second win of the season by going six innings, giving up three runs on five hits and striking out seven. The veteran also walked four.

His outing was backed by a trio of relievers – Jacob Barnes, Corey Knebel and Neftali Feliz – who didn’t allow a hit in the final three innings. Feliz earned his second save of the year with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Milwaukee was paced offensively by Domingo Santana, who had a pair of RBI’s, including a home run in the fifth inning that proved to be all the scoring the Brewers would need.

Outfielder Keon Boxton went 2 for 5 and hit the first home run of his season, while catcher Manny Pina continued his hot start with three hits in four plate appearances to push his batting average to .429 through eight games.

All of the damage Milwaukee did came against starter J.A. Happ, who fell to 0-2 on the year. He gave up the four runs on nine hits, while also striking out eight batters.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Milwaukee, while the Blue Jays fell to 1-5 on the year, the worst start in franchise history.

The second and final game of the quick interleague series is tonight at the Rogers Centre. First pitch is set for 6:07 p.m.

A strong outing from Wily Peralta helps the Brewers pick up their first win of the year

The Milwaukee Brewers found the win column for the first time this season on Wednesday night, taking out the Colorado Rockies 6-1 at Miller Park.

Wily Peralta, making his first start of the year, was more than solid, pitching five scoreless innings while giving up just three hits and striking out five.

“There’s no question. He was excellent,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “Really picked up where he left off last year. It was a very good outing.”

By the time Peralta exited the game, Milwaukee had built a 3-0 lead thanks to a pair of homers from a couple newcomers – first baseman Eric Thames and third baseman Travis Shaw. For Thames, it was his first home run in the major leagues since 2012.

“It felt good to finally get one over the wall,” said Thames, who spent the last three seasons playing in Korea.

Hernan Perez made it 4-0 on a double in the sixth inning, while Jonathan Villar adding two more with a home run in the eighth.

The Rockies made a bit of push in bottom of the ninth, getting to Taylor Jungmann for a run and had two runners in scoring position when Counsell decided to bring in closer Neftali Feliz, who promptly struck out the one batter he faced to get the save.

Milwaukee improved to 1-2 on the year.

The two teams will close out the four-game set this afternoon with first pitch set for 12:40 p.m.

Rangers may be expressing interest in Wily Peralta

SURPRISE, Ariz. — While Milwaukee Brewers starter Wily Peralta threw 5.2 innings of scoreless baseball in a 1-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Saturday, Texas Rangers scouts were in attendance keeping an eye on Peralta, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The Rangers are reportedly looking for more starting pitching depth while they decide whether to use a four or five-man rotation this season. Peralta’s $4.275 million 2017 contract, along with ineligibility for free agency until 2019 could make him an appealing addition, per the Dallas Morning News.

Peralta is looking to bounce back from a rough beginning to his 2016 campaign in which his first 13 starts saw his ERA balloon to an MLB-worst 6.68. But after a demotion to Triple A Colorado Springs, Peralta returned to post a 2.92 ERA over his final 61.2 innings.

Peralta has shown improvement so far this spring, adding some velocity through a mechanics change in the offseason. He also got some work for the Dominican Republic during the World Baseball Classic.

Brewers lose, Guerra to land on DL

PHOENIX — While the Milwaukee Brewers lost 9-3 to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, they will also lose starter Junior Guerra to the disabled list with right elbow inflammation.

Wily Peralta has been recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs to take Guerra’s spot in the rotation Tuesday night against the Atlanta Braves. The inflammation occurred Wednesday against the San Diego Padres, in which Guerra lasted four innings and gave up four earned runs in a 12-3 loss. Guerra has yet to officially be placed on the DL.

Guerra is one of Milwaukee bright spots this season, having thrown 107 and 1/3 innings with a 2.93 ERA — the best of any Milwaukee starter. Peralta had the league’s worse ERA of 6.68 before being sent to the Skysox on June 12. Since then, he’s logged a 6.31 ERA in 41 and 1/3 innings.

The Brewers lost to the Diamondbacks Sunday afternoon after Jimmy Nelson failed to make it into the fifth inning for his third straight outing. He allowed seven hits and six earned runs, while walking three and hitting two batters.