2019 Autopsy Report: Milwaukee Brewers
Another two-fer today as 2 teams were eliminated earlier this week. In case you missed it, our previous report was on the end of the Padres season.
The 5th team eliminated, and 4th in the National League, is the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers began 2019 with little hope, but had a nice OF, some decent pitching and with a little luck (and playing in the NL Central) – nothing was impossible.
Time of Death: Tuesday September 3rd, 11:09 PM PST when PH Tony Thompson flew out to RF in the 10th inning of the Brewers 7-6, 10 inning loss to Houston
Cause of Death (Primary): Internal Organ Failure. Look – when I say nothing was impossible, it’s because that’s true. The Brewers won 81 games, but also the NL Central in 2018. They won 90 and the division in 2016. There was a GM switch up top and a sell off after a pretty rough April.
Secondary Issues: Like many reviewed so far, the Brewers combine pretty bad hitting with mostly horrific pitching. I do find the irony that the death blow was struck versus Houston. Facing facts, the story of the 2019 Milwaukee Brewers will be told through the lens of their return for trading the insanely talented (and underpaid) 23-year-old OF Jose Gonzalez to Houston in May. The top piece they got back, CF Micky Moniak, has struggled in the Brewers organization – hitting just .204 with a .597 OPS on the season, mostly in AA. They got a variety of other prospects, but given Gonzalez track record thus far (he’s averaged 7 WAR/162 thus far) they’re going to need 3-4-5 of those prospect to be regulars, at least.
Left to Play For: The Brewers are the first team in the reports that has a punchers chance at avoiding 100 losses. At 54-85, they need to finish 9-14 to dodge that bullet, should they choose. They’re currently slated for the 6th pick, which is roughly where they’ll settle. They do travel to both St. Louis and Cincinnati for 3 game sets later this month, and head to Colorado to close out the season.
2020 Outlook: Definitely better. Compete for the division better? Not really unless they cash in prospects for ML talent – which would likely be an unwise decision. Their top 6 prospects all finished the season in AAA – headlined by SP Cody McCutc. They can gain a large chunk of budget room if they decline Josh Tomlin’s team option (7.5 mil savings) and not offering arbitration to veteran OF Emory Blumenthal (roughly 10 mil savings).