Baseball is often a game that confounds expectations. Fantasy players and anyone who has ever tried to bet on baseball knows that just because a given lineup or starter looks particularly strong or weak doesn’t mean all that much. Bad starters shut down league leading offenses. Decimated lineups knock around aces. Not all the time, and perhaps not even often. However, it happens with enough regularity that taking things like this for granted is a good way to lose.
Sometimes, though, things play out pretty much as one might expect. The Brewers were without Ryan Braun and Jean Segura on Sunday due to injuries, and backup catcher Martin Maldonado was serving the final game in his five game suspension for his role in the Easter Sunday brawl in Pittsburgh. So, a shorthanded team was facing a solid starter off to a really good start to the season in Jason Hammel. This time, things played to form in the and the Brewers lost 4-0.
Wily Peralta pitched reasonably well yet again, allowing three runs in seven innings. It was the team’s league leading 20th quality start of the season in 25 games, but the offense just couldn’t muster anything. They’ll need to do better starting Monday, when the Brewers travel to St. Louis to take on the second place Cardinals in a three game set. The big question on that front is just what will the offense look like?
From Adam McCalvy’s game story on MLB.com:
Segura, who suffered a cut below his right eye when he was struck by Braun’s bat in the dugout on Saturday night, said he intends to play at some point this week. Braun, who later left that game with a strained muscle on his right rib-cage, will miss at least 3-5 more games, Roenicke said.
It appears unlikely that the Brewers will get either Braun or Segura back during this series with the Cardinals. The Brewers will get Martin Maldonado back for the series at least, but that will still leave them short not only their best hitter and starting shortstop, but also a couple of bench slots. Without Braun, the team is down to three outfielders in Khris Davis, Carlos Gomez, and Elian Herrera. At short, they’re down to Jeff Bianchi as a starter with Herrera as a backup. That would probably leave either Mark Reynolds or Rickie Weeks to head out to the outfield in an emergency. None of these are particularly appetizing options.
So who could they call up? The most likely candidates are probably outfielders Jeremy Hermida and Caleb Gindl. Both have been hitting well recently in AAA Nashville, both would give the Brewers another left-handed bat to face any of the Cardinals three scheduled right-handed starters. It’s hard to say just how useful either of these guys would be for a short call up. Both have shown the ability to play in the majors before, but how much value they might add to the team in a short time span is anyone’s guess.
It seems likely that the Brewers are going to try and get by without placing either Braun or Segura on the disabled list. That way Braun and Segura don’t have to miss what figures to be something like 10 games that they could have potentially played in. The downside is that they lose a little depth and flexibility for St. Louis. That attitude will surely be second guessed in the event of a series loss or sweep, especially in light of the fact that their opponents seem to be treating this series as pretty important on their end. Then again, most decisions are second guessed, especially when it comes to series with Cardinals.