Jun 9, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun walks back to the dugout after striking out in the 1st inning during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Miller Park. Braun left the game after the at bat with an injury. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
To preview the series between the Miami Marlins and the Milwaukee Brewers, I had an email chat with Benjamin Orr, the editor of the New York Mets Fansided site, Reviewing the Brew. Reviewing the Brew has to be one of the coolest names for a site on the internet and it also does an excellent job of covering everything Brewers related.
Benjamin and I chatted about everything from why the Ryan Braun‘s intriguing situation with the MLB to why the Brewers have been so disappointing in 2013.
Without any further ado, here is my chat with Benjamin:
Jun 9, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Kyle Lohse pitches in the 4th inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Ehsan Kassim: What in the world is wrong with the Brewers this season after such high expectations?
Benjamin Orr: Well, I wouldn’t exactly say the Brewers had “high” expectations, but there were definitely some after making that run towards the end of last year. What’s really fallen apart on the Brewers this season has been their starting pitching. The addition of Kyle Lohse never really set well with me and I think a lot of fans share the same sentiment and he’s really done shoddy work, though he did well yesterday against the Phillies. The rest of the rotation has been a nightmare and now the they’re at the point of spot starting relievers.
Also, reconstructing the bullpen has been a work in progress that has for the time being. After last year’s disaster, the team literally wiped house with the ‘pen aside from John Axford, Jim Henderson, Brandon Kintzler and now Francisco Rodriguez now that they resigned him. So as for expectations, I’m not really sure how many existed, especially after the team lost a good portion of their starting rotation (Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum) and had no idea what to do about the bullpen.
EK: Are you concerned about the current situation surrounding Ryan Braun?
BO: No, not really. It’s the simple “innocent until proven guilty thing” so unless Tony Bosch has some damning evidence against Braun, Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera and so on and so forth, it’s just a bunch of blown steam, at least that’s my understanding. Personally, I have no idea if Braun is guilty or not, and I can’t logically make a conclusion to the problem without being completely biased. I’d like to hope he isn’t, considering his numbers have always been steady and he doesn’t look like a building, but hey, who knows.
If worst comes to worst and he is guilty, then yeah, Braun cheated and deserves a 100-game suspension absolutely. The Brewers will go on, though it’s going to be a long road on an already downhill year, assuming that the suspensions would be handed out this season. Even if he’s found innocent, his reputation is forever tarnished and that’s a shame. Braun is one of two things, a colossal liar or a very unfortunate victim.
EK: Speaking of Braun, are we going to see him this series at all?
BO: I’d think so, but maybe not until Tuesday’s game. His thumb has been giving him trouble all season long and he’s had to miss time because of it before. He’ll probably sit out in the first game and might be used as a pinch hitter, but it’ll depend on the situation. Braun is trying to avoid the disabled list and more than likely will, but then as a result, he’ll probably sit out a few games. However, sometimes manager Ron Roenicke likes to blow throw the bench players for whatever reason, so yes, it’s entirely possible we could see Braun.
EK: In your opinion, how did the Brewers do in the 2013 MLB draft?
BO: Pretty well. Devin Williams, a right handed pitcher, and Tucker Neuhaus, an infielder, were their two top picks and the Brewers seem confident they’ll sign both. Now as most fans know, with the Brewers’ signing of Lohse, they lost their first round draft pick, so we didn’t pick up Williams until the 54th pick of the draft. As for the rest of the picks, the Brewers think they’ll be able to sign most of the guys from the Top 10 rounds, so they’ll have a lot of young talent to play around with. Not to mention, Williams and Neuhaus are coming straight out of high school, so they could make an impact at a very young age if they do well in the minors, but I think that’s the same for really any team who drafts well.
EK: Should we expect the Brewers to be sellers at the trade deadline next month?
May 5, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers player Corey Hart looks on during the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
BO: It’s entirely possible that this happens, but there’s really not much to sell to get a decent return for. The top two names floating around are Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart, but this was the same thing last year and neither player was traded. If there is a trade, expect Ramirez to be the one to go. Hart hasn’t played a game in 2013 due to surgery on his right knee back in January, but hopefully will be back sometime this month. The next biggest question is how much can the Brewers get in return for Ramirez, who while he does have a great bat, has had problems with injuries this year and is going to be 35 on June 25th.
Pitching wise, I’d highly doubt the Brewers are going to let anyone go, simply because they don’t have many fall back options. They’re just kind of sifting through the muck to hopefully get consistent and quality starts out of the rotation. Well that, and I haven’t heard many pitchers’ names being thrown around with trade rumors, so if there is a trade, I’d expect it to be purely offense.
EK: Can you give us a quick scouting report of the pitchers the Marlins will face this series?
BO: In the first game, the Marlins will see Yovani Gallardo. Now while some people categorize Gallardo as the ace, let me say now, he’s not an ace by ANY stretch of the imagination. He’s only pitched seven innings or more once this season and his bloated 5.25 ERA certainly doesn’t help. He’s just getting pounded out there and in his last three starts, he’s given up 14 runs in only 15.2 innings pitched, so that there should tell you something.
Next up, the Marlins will square off against rookie Wily Peralta. Last September when he was called up, Peralta was absolutely spectacular on the mound. This year, he’s been disappointing and then some, nearly every start out. Peralta has a 4-7 record, an insufferable ERA of 6.16 and not to mention, his opponents are hitting a lot off of him, as to why they have a .309 batting average against him. I’d like to think he could turn it around, but part of me believes he needs more time in Triple-A.
In the last game, reliever Alfredo Figaro will make another spot start. Figaro is one of the Brewers’ fall back options for a starter and aside from two four run outings, he’s done well this season in both roles. He and reliever Tom Gorzelanny (who started on Saturday) have actually done better than the rest of the rotation and who knows, if Figaro can maybe go six against the fish with only allowing a run, maybe the Brewers will roll with him more.
A big thank you to Ben 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, please check out Reviewing the Brew for more of Ben’s best works as well as some other great content.