Given that the Brewers are gearing up for spring training, as pitchers and catchers are slated to report to camp very soon, now is as good a time as any to look at the prospective 2016 roster once more. To make this exercise easier to read, I am splitting it into two posts, for arms and bats. With the Jean Segura trade, the Brewers have undoubtedly improved the rotational depth and potential by adding Chase Anderson. So, there is an even greater question about whether Zach Davies will make the rotation out of spring training, or whether Ariel Pena will get another look in the bullpen.
For this exercise, the “final spot” debate is precisely between Pena and Davies, although there are other candidates that could be DFA’d depending on the types of pitchers available on waivers (or via trade) during camp.
|Brewers Arms||Player||2015 Brewers IP / Runs Prevented||Note|
|SP1||Taylor Jungmann||119.3 / 2||0.59 FIP Ratio / 46% groundballs|
|SP2||Chase Anderson||118.0 / 0||Anderson’s stuff & outlook|
|SP3||Jimmy Nelson||177.3 / -4||Nelson’s Improvements (& New Approach?)|
|SP4||Matt Garza||108.7 / -8||Fastball Efficiency Improvement Needed|
|SP5||Wily Peralta||152.3 / -26||Fastball Efficiency Improvement Needed|
|SP6||Zach Davies||[148.7 / -31]||Davies’ In-Season Adjustments|
|CL||Jeremy Jeffress||57.0 /12|
|CL||Will Smith||57.0 / 12|
|RP3||Michael Blazek||49.7 / 10|
|RP4||Corey Knebel||63.3 / 7|
|RP5||Tyler Thornburg||50.3 / 6|
|RP6||Zack Jones||49.7 / 6|
|Final Spot||Davies / Ariel Pena||[36.7 / -6]|
Given the bullpen performance in 2015, one may wonder whether Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith can build on their great production. Perhaps an even greater question for 2016 than the rotational strength — how could the rotation be worse, anyway? — is the ability of a very good bullpen to further advance on their strengths. Smith and Jeffress especially have the stuff and approach to improve, so it remains to be seen whether this closing tandem begins the start of something great in Milwaukee’s pen. Based on stuff and potential, if optioned, there is an intriguing roster crunch involving Jacob Barnes, Yhonathan Barrios, Adrian Houser, Jorge Lopez, Damien Magnifico, and/or Davies if all remain healthy and stay on track.