The Miami Marlins will start the second half of their season with a series against the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend. To preview the series between the Marlins and Brewers, I had an email chat with Benjamin Orr, the editor for the Milwaukee Brewers Fansided Site, Reviewing the Brew. RtB does a phenomenal job of covering everything surrounding the Brewers team.
Ben and I chatted about everything from the if Brewers fans are worried about a possible lenghty suspension for Ryan Braun to what has exactly gone wrong with the Brewers in 2013.
Without any further ado, here is my chat with Ben:
Ehsan Kassim: This Ryan Braun Biogenesis Case with the MLB seems to be getting serious. Are you and Brewers fans starring to get worried about a long suspension?
Benjamin Orr: Not in the slightest. At this point, the MLB would need some serious hardcore evidence to try and lay a suspension on Braun. Whether or not Bud Selig has anything remains to be seen, but you’d have to think if he had something concrete, this would have been over and done with months ago. Regardless, even if suspensions are handed out, the appeal process is going to take so ridiculously long that Braun and all the other parties involved are still going to play in the mean time. So really, I’m not worried about it and I think most Brewer fans think the same.
EK: What can the Brewers do in the second half to stay ahead of the lowly Marlins and Astros? Will they?
BO: Hit with runners in scoring position. It’s been such a rarity for the Brewers to score runs as of late, which is very surprising considering how well guys like Jean Segura, Carlos Gomez, Norichika Aoki and Jonathan Lucroy have done. In the previous series against Arizona, there was one game where they were 1-for-12 with RISP and had 11 runners left on, so that’s been huge. Will they stay ahead? I really don’t know, and at the pace they’re playing, 100 losses this season seems entirely possible.
EK: Who is currently on the trading block for the Brewers and how can they start rebuilding for 2014?
BO: I’d have to say members of the bullpen, namely Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford, also starter Yovani Gallardo. Now, nobody really knows if the Brewers are definitive sellers, but out of the three, I definitely see K-Rod going. Also, the Braves have or had an interest in left-hander Mike Gonzalez. As for rebuilding, I think they’re kind of already there as eight players have made their debuts this season and the starting rotation consists of two relievers turned into starters. A lot of young players are getting pushed through at rates that nobody really saw coming.
EK: How bad do the trades for Greinke and Sabathia in recent years look now that the Brewers are not playing well? Is there any regret for those two trades?
BO: They really don’t honestly. The trade for Sabathia was necessary for that 2008 playoff push and even then, the only player they gave up who did anything with their career was Michael Brantley. As for Greinke, that trade was an absolute steal since we received Segura. Greinke was going to walk anyway after the season so they figured why not get something out of him now? So with that, I can’t really say there’s been regret about either trade.
EK: Can you give us a quick scouting report on the pitchers the Marlins will face this series?
BO: Tonight the Marlins will see veteran Kyle Lohse take the mound. This season, Lohse has been by far the most consistent starter in the rotation and has done well overall, though was roughed up in his last start. Gallardo will pitch Saturday, and has been somewhat rocked in the past month, but anytime he’s on, he’s going to be tough to beat, especially with his strikeouts. As for Sunday, the Marlins will have their hands full with rookie Wily Peralta. In his last few starts, Peralta has thrown a complete game shut-out, and has had multiple seven inning games with no earned runs. He’s truly been dominant since late June.
EK: Any bold predictions for the series?
BO: Not really, no. Had the Brewers come into this second half at least ahead of the Cubs in the NL Central, I would like to say they could potentially sweep the Marlins, but I don’t know now. I’d like to think the Brewers could win the series, especially since it’s at home, but the Marlins have some tough pitchers in this series so it should be a fun one.
A big thank you to Benjamin for taking his timeout to talk to us. We at Marlin Maniac wish all Brewers fans the best of luck in the upcoming series. If you get a chance, do check out some of the great content over on Reviewing the Brew.