There have been some rumors of Milwaukee looking to trade for Madison Bumgarner, which would give them a true ace, which there has not been in Milwaukee for quite some time. The Brewers had a plan to ride the bullpen as far as they could, and it nearly worked. Jhoulys Chacin was the number one starter last season, who pitched well, but there is a lot of consistency issues with guys behind him. A true workhorse number one would really put the Brewers over the edge of being a World Series contender. As we creep closer to Spring Training and the regular season, Milwaukee will likely be rumored to a few names, but pulling the trigger would be a good choice if they want to make a statement to the rest of the National League.
Milwaukee had one of the best bullpens in baseball last season, and they were not afraid to ride them from the early innings on. Using a bullpen can be tricky in the long run, especially with high off-speed and high velocity arms. If the Brewers don’t add a starter, or get a healthy Jimmy Nelson back, this will likely be the plan for the 2019 season. Josh Hader had a ridiculous 47% strikeout rate last season, and Jeremy Jeffress with Corey Knebel were lockdown relievers. The Brewers have the arms to certainly repeat the success they had last season, but scaling back the workload might be a better idea if they want to not be as one dimensional. Brandon Woodruff was an interesting piece going through the lineup mostly once each time he started or had a long relief role. With how effective this was, we should expect them to keep this role in place for him.
The Brewers edged out the Chicago Cubs in a one game take all for the Central. The Cubs will bring back a similar team looking to take back what has been theirs, but also other teams have improved. St. Louis added Paul Goldschmidt to their roster, and the Reds have improved their team as well by adding some Dodgers in their recent trade. Pittsburgh always seems to be competitive without spending, which leads to one of the toughest divisions to play in. The Brewers offense is going to be able to hang with any of them, and you can argue they have the best offense in that division. Their bullpen also gets the nod over the rest, while the rotation is their only question mark. Milwaukee will be contenders to win the division again, but this will be a tougher task compared to last season. If the other teams in the division make another move, we could be looking at who edges who out in trade deadline deals just like last season.