The 2016 Milwaukee Brewers knew that they might have some issues being competitive this year. It’s not that they lack talent, it’t that so much of it is sitting in Triple-A. With three of their top four prospects lighting it up in Colorado Springs, pitching has been the Brewers’ biggest weakness in the first half of 2016.
The Brewers finally have their bullpen back in order. To start the season the presumptive closer, Will Smith, was injured. Jeremy Jeffress replaced him to start the season and has saved 19-of-20 opportunities. Smith is back in a setup position, but has been shaky in high leverage situations.
Meanwhile, the starting rotation is still missing the two pitchers thought to have been fighting for the No. 5 spot, former top MLB prospect Sean Nolin and journeyman lefty Chris Capuano. Their injuries have forced last year’s top September call-up, Kyle Davies, into the starting rotation this year. Nolin is not expected to produce in 2016, but Capuano is being counted on to return to the rotation in the second half of the season.
Despite the injuries that the Brewers have seen to date, their pitching shouldn’t be as bad as it has been. They have the fifth-worst ERA in MLB and have allowed the fifth-most runs in all of baseball. They have also gotten the fourth-fewest strikeouts in the National League while walking the seventh-most in all of MLB. With rankings like that, it is no wonder that the Brewers are giving up too many runs this year.
The Brewers are trying to rebuild as quickly as they can. With Ryan Braun and Aaron Hill in the mix they always have a chance offensively. Now they just have to strengthen their pitching to become contenders again.