It was with mixed emotions I watched the trading deadline come to an end with the Milwaukee Brewers basically standing pat and not improving their sinking ship.
The addition of Anthony Swarzak and Jeremy Jeffress can’t hurt an overworked and not too talented bullpen (Jacob Barnes, Oliver Drake, Jared Hughes, Carlos Torres). Paolo Espino and Wei-Chung Wang haven’t pitched enough to be considered yet.
That leaves you with Corey Knebel and Josh Hader as the closest to ‘sure things.’
Jimmy Nelson and two starting pitchers who don’t look like they’re old enough to shave (Zach Davies, Brent Suter) will hopefully be joined by Chase Anderson and Matt Garza off the disabled list soon. They won’t get you to the playoffs, but they will get you through the season.
Hopefully as they fall out of it, some of the minor league hurlers (Brandon Woodruff) will get an opportunity because Stearns is obviously looking to the future.
How good is the Brewers farm system? Obviously very good because many of the trades that didn’t happen were because other teams wanted their top prospects. Hopefully Stearns’ patience will pay off.
I have been called negative because I have said all along that this team was not good enough to win the Central Division. Who cares if they are in first place June 1 or at the All-Star break, it’s where they’re at Oct. 1 that counts.
Sonny Gray was not going to get this team to the World Series and you have to be pretty stupid to think so. I think Stearns and his people have done a fine job since the Brewers are probably one and a half to two years ahead of schedule.
But the bottom line has more to do with the Chicago Cubs, the defending World Champions, than with the Brewers.
The Cubs weren’t playing up to their potential – they proved what they can do last year – and when they did they passed the Brewers. They simply have more talent.
But the other thing was the Cubs are playing to win the World Series – not the division – so they could afford to give up top talent and they did and got Jose Quintana and Justin Wilson, two players the Brewers probably coveted.
You can dream about catching the Cubs but that’s not going to happen. The Brewers need to worry more about St. Louis and Pittsburgh than they do the Cubs.
The Brewers need to get back to playing good baseball, finish second and win over 81 games. Now that would be a good – no make it a great – season.