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2017 vs. 2018

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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#21

Posted: October 01, 2017, 7:06 AM Post
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trwi7 said:
I see a ton of regression candidates. Anderson (29), Shaw (27), Santana (24), Hader (23), Pina(30), Phillips (23), Nelson (28), Sogard (31).

I put their ages this past season in parenthesis.

Aren't guys in their early/mid 20's supposed to get better? Aren't guys supposed to be in their prime from ages 28-31? Other than Sogard, why would you expect a lot of regression? And how much impact will a regression from Sogard have?


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#22

Posted: October 01, 2017, 7:43 AM Post
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No mention of Brinson??, how does he fit into 2018? I have to believe they are going to try and upgrade the lineup with a splash. They could spend $30-$40 million if they really think they're close. I have complete faith in Stearns, he's terrific and I start worrying about him leaving for greener pastures. I don't see any long term moves at 2B as Hiura has to be close because of his bat.

The fly in the ointment is the Nelson injury, its too bad because he took such a jump and I love how competitive he is. swarzak should be re-signed sooner rather than later. I'm on the fence on Hader, he is an absolute weapon for 2-3 innings in the middle relief innings where lets face it this team lost a ton of games this year. Maybe Barnes takes another step forward.

My dream scenario would be Braun and some prospects for Stanton. He would hit 70 in our park and some health.


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#23

Posted: October 01, 2017, 7:43 AM Post
Posts: 307
3and2Fastball said:
Travis Shaw in 2017 vs LHP: .254/.316/.471 in 138 At-Bats

Eric Thames in 2017 vs LHP: .186/.275/.402 in 97 At-Bats

That is 235 very low production at-bats from the top of the order. Thames really should never hit vs LHP's, and it should be kept to a minimum for Shaw...

Keon Broxton had 309 At-Bats vs RHP, hitting .220/.290/.417 vs RHP

When you are looking for ways to improve the offense, in 2018, start with those 544 At-Bats

Hernan Perez hit .319/.345/.451 vs LHP's btw ....


You realize that in what you quoted above Shaw has a 787 OPS vs LH and Perez has a 796 OPS vs LHs. That is such a subtle improvement that it is barely worth mentioning. Thames is a different story. A straight platoon of him and Aguilar makes sense. And keep Thames out of the OF next year.


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#24

Posted: October 01, 2017, 9:19 AM Post
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3and2Fastball said:
20th pick? Is that what we have? By most accounts the 2018 Draft is supposed to be one of the best in a decade or two, so we can still get an impact player or two there....

I think 2017 does bode well for 2018. I see a nucleus of Arcia, Shaw, Santana, and Piña as players who took huge steps forward, gained invaluable experience, proved they can play and got the taste of being in a pennant race. Phillips in a smaller sample showed he can hit MLB pitching and supply plus defense.

We have a young, hungry, smart GM who will likely pull off unexpected moves that can propel the franchise further forward.


I agree with all these points. Couldn't have said it any better.


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#25

Posted: October 01, 2017, 10:09 AM Post
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I have full faith that 2018 will be a better year for the Crew. To talk about regression of 23 and 24 year olds makes no sense in my opinion. They could have a down year but they could all improve. Phillips and Arica can learn to cut down their strike outs. They can also improve their pitch selection. Anderson could regress because his HR rate was low this year, but he also learned to command 4 pitches now. He could be just a good pitcher now. Nelson I believe will be back by second half of the year. I do not believe his injury will be a long term problem.

I think the Brewers should spend money on the bullpen. I believe they have enough quality starters if you include Suter, Woodruff, Burnes, Jungman, F Peralta, Guerra, Ortiz and possibly even Lopez. Some of those guys could become quality pen arms as well.
Add the fact that the Brewers have a lot of money to spend and an owner who pushes to be aggressive I think the hot stove league is gonna be fun this winter!


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#26

Posted: October 01, 2017, 10:52 AM Post
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I get folks being down on Thames, but I think he's more than a platoon player. I know he's on the wrong side of the aging curve, but the dude can walk. 74 of them this year, to go with a .358 OBP. Plate discipline is a big part of his issue. He knows this and has mentioned it to Fangraphs. If the guy gets a little better at swinging at strikes, we're looking at a really good 1B presence for two more years. Obviously, that's a big IF, but if Aguilar brings value, I might be willing to explore that. Of course, a platoon works and could give the team a big advantage, so that's fine as an option, but I don't want to give up on Thames in any way. I see promise beyond his hot April, is what I mean.


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#27

Posted: October 01, 2017, 12:48 PM Post
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I'm with Cool Hand Lucroy, as I think Thames is a work-a-holic that will spend his off-season analyzing his flaws to improve. Do I expect a star? no. But .260 avg 25-30 hr, and nice OBP is nothing to sneeze at


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#28

Posted: October 01, 2017, 12:51 PM Post
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benji said:
To talk about regression of 23 and 24 year olds makes no sense in my opinion.


Why? Knebel is 25 and he'll probably regress just because it's really hard to have a 1.8 ERA over a full season buoyed by a 92% strand rate.

Phillips isn't going to keep a .400 BABIP so unless he significantly improves his contact rate in the offseason, he's going to regress.

Is Arcia going to improve with his approach at the plate? It's more likely he stagnates or regresses than improves if he doesn't improve his plate discipline.

Young players don't just automatically improve because they're young, especially when they have serious flaws in their game.

Anderson has a HR/FB rate of 8.6%. As an extreme fly ball pitcher does anyone really expect him to keep it that low? The average LOB% is around 73%. Anderson is over 80. Could he keep that high strand rate? I guess it's possible but is it more likely that he regresses to around the league average? Anderson's BABIP this year is .265. He's a pretty extreme fly ball pitcher so he'll probably have a better than average BABIP but will it be .265 or closer to .285 like his career average?

Cards' fans wear jorts.


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#29

Posted: October 01, 2017, 6:40 PM Post
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Mariano Rivera didn't regress much from his first year as the closer at age 26. Knebel will also have another year of experience and will better know what to do in certain situations, what hitters will do, etc.

BABIP is much more relevant for pitchers than hitters; if a hitter strikes out a lot, he will have a high BABIP. And will Phillips even be the starter? What if Brinson is the starter? And won't a Phillips/Brinson platoon be better than Broxton?

Arcia improved significantly over last year; at 23, why wouldn't he continue to improve?

Anderson learned a new pitch and now has a four-pitch repertoire. Comparing his historical stats to now isn't really that relevant. His BABIP will likely regress some, but how much will that really matter? So what if it goes to .285? He also pitched this well the 2nd half of last season, so it's more than just one year of numbers - it's more like 1.5. He improved his K rate from last season, decreased his LD% and hard hit %, and increased his GB%. If you decrease your LD% and hard hit % you can give up fly balls and not give up HRs.


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#30

Posted: October 01, 2017, 7:34 PM Post
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trwi7 said:
benji said:
To talk about regression of 23 and 24 year olds makes no sense in my opinion.


Why? Knebel is 25 and he'll probably regress just because it's really hard to have a 1.8 ERA over a full season buoyed by a 92% strand rate.

Phillips isn't going to keep a .400 BABIP so unless he significantly improves his contact rate in the offseason, he's going to regress.

Is Arcia going to improve with his approach at the plate? It's more likely he stagnates or regresses than improves if he doesn't improve his plate discipline.

Young players don't just automatically improve because they're young, especially when they have serious flaws in their game.

Anderson has a HR/FB rate of 8.6%. As an extreme fly ball pitcher does anyone really expect him to keep it that low? The average LOB% is around 73%. Anderson is over 80. Could he keep that high strand rate? I guess it's possible but is it more likely that he regresses to around the league average? Anderson's BABIP this year is .265. He's a pretty extreme fly ball pitcher so he'll probably have a better than average BABIP but will it be .265 or closer to .285 like his career average?

Young players, as a group, do in fact improve. Every player has flaws in his game. You're just reciting flaws, ignoring strengths, and pretending that you've somehow made an argument rather than just reinforced a bias.

Teams more often than not regress after big improvements. Stearns will have to work in order to build on 2017's gains. I can see Shaw and Thames regressing, but the young guys we're talking about have all built a strong foundation to grow on


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#31

Posted: October 01, 2017, 8:32 PM Post
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On the one hand, the record was way above expectations. On the other hand, the record should have been much better had the bullpen performed even below average instead of absolute garbage in the first half. I have no idea what to expect in 2018. My gut is telling me over .500 but not much and certainly not in the playoff hunt until the second to last day of the season.


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#32

Posted: October 01, 2017, 10:11 PM Post
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Brew4U said:
Does the 2017 season mean much for what next year will look like or what our record will be?


I ask this because this season has been great to win a bunch more games than expected but with just losing Nelson it feels as though we may take a step back next season. I mean we basically got career years out of Nelson and Anderson. Well Nelson might not be back and ya never know what Anderson we will get.

Plus a lot of other factors. Just spit ballin.

I think it's an honest starting point. And if we regress, I won't be shocked. But I won't be shocked if we do better.

I'm playing both sides of the argument here (which means I really don't have an answer).

Nelson may regress, but perhaps Woodruff steps up. Or Hader becomes a viable starter. Or Braun stays healthy. Etc., etc. So many things can happen.

I think one big difference than last year is that the club isn't going to let obviously marginal players hang around on the roster for any length of time. We aren't going to have long leashes on guys such as Peralta or Garza or Feliz or Marinez. Those guys will be gone quicker this year as we won't tolerate their poor play for such a long stretch.

I will add this -- the critical thing for this club is to keep acquiring and producing talented players. We are not a team that will sign a bunch of free agent stars. We are ALWAYS going to have a roster in flux in some fashion. We will often have to take a chance on young players - and be willing to forego quick fixes for long term gain. When other teams trade for a player, we might let a rookie have a chance - and be willing to live with the struggles that are part of that situation. That will just be part of the game for us.

Starting 2018 without Nelson is huge - but such is life. If he can come back by mid-season (and be good), it's like adding a stud player at the deadline (but at no cost).

The other thing I'm excited about is: Woodruff, Burnes, Phillips, Brinson, Taylor Williams, Hader - all guys who debuted in 2017 (or hopefully will debut in 2018).

I'm also excited to see what Santana can do now that he's got some success under his belt. The guy could be a beast if he ups his game a bit. And I'm excited for Arcia - I want him to become more consistent and gain some strength. He could be an all-star if he does that.


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#33

Posted: October 02, 2017, 12:23 AM Post
Posts: 3120
I think the big question for 2018 is, "Will Attanasio, Stearns, and Counsell be willing to take a step back in the short term to have massive gains over the long haul?"

We just bled the Cubs' farm system dry this year. Maybe this offseason sees the Cubs make some ill-advised signings.


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#34

Posted: October 02, 2017, 4:49 AM Post
Posts: 238
There were a lot of things that went right in 2017. Looking at run differentials the Brewers could have expected fewer wins than they had, while the Cardinals and Cubs could have expected more. One could make the argument that the team isn't, talent-wise, an 86 win team yet. And I can buy into that. I don't think the Brewers are playoff-bound in 2018, and will miss it by more than this year. I think .500 or slightly above is what we can expect. And to me that's not necessarily regression, that's where we are right now. 2018 should be about starting to really transition to the next wave of players coming through, to truly set up the core of young players with many years of team control remaining. At the same time, players who seemingly had career years in 2017 (Never mind that most of our players were inexperienced enough for there to be no baseline to compare to) may simply be on an upwards trajectory. You never know.

But these are very early days. Who knows what the offseason will bring. If there's another Travis Shaw type of trade to be made, or some big free agent signing can be had for a reasonable salary and contract length, then that could have a major impact without changing the overall path. Certainly going to be an interesting offseason!


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#35

Posted: October 02, 2017, 9:22 AM Post
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clancyphile said:
I think the big question for 2018 is, "Will Attanasio, Stearns, and Counsell be willing to take a step back in the short term to have massive gains over the long haul?


I think the big question for 2018 is, "Will Attanasio be willing to take a step back in the short term to have massive gains over the long haul?

That is the real question. Stearns wasn't even willing to take a step back in the short term when they were in first place this year. Not that I'm complaining or disagree but he's willing to wait it out.


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#36

Posted: October 02, 2017, 10:14 AM Post
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Lots of decisions!

Will they let Phillips play full time, or sit him vs LHP? Longer they protect him from LHP, will be more difficult later.

Hader: Starter, Bullpen, or both (at some point in the season?)

Villar: Does he get another chance to be full time 2B to start the season?

SP: Go with Wilkerson, Jungmann, eventually Burnes? Or acquire a vet?

Brinson: When do they bring him up, where does he fit?

Lots more, but short on time...


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#37

Posted: October 02, 2017, 10:19 AM Post
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Good post, I think you could add in about Brinson whether or not he is a trade piece? I mean, he seems to be often injured and is a young man. His trade value is still high enough where we could get a pitcher for him and buy into Phillips being out CF of the future.

“There's a fine line between being confident and cocky, or overconfident. This is an extremely humbling game. But if you don't believe in yourself, no one else is going to believe in you.”


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#38

Posted: October 02, 2017, 10:26 AM Post
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clancyphile said:
I think the big question for 2018 is, "Will Attanasio, Stearns, and Counsell be willing to take a step back in the short term to have massive gains over the long haul?"

We just bled the Cubs' farm system dry this year. Maybe this offseason sees the Cubs make some ill-advised signings.


And maybe the Cubs sign Bryce Harper and Clayton Kershaw in the winter following the 2018 season....

The David Stearns era: Controllable Young Talent. Watch the Jedi work his magic!


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#39

Posted: October 02, 2017, 8:02 PM Post
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Lathund said:
There were a lot of things that went right in 2017. Looking at run differentials the Brewers could have expected fewer wins than they had, while the Cardinals and Cubs could have expected more. One could make the argument that the team isn't, talent-wise, an 86 win team yet. And I can buy into that. I don't think the Brewers are playoff-bound in 2018, and will miss it by more than this year. I think .500 or slightly above is what we can expect. And to me that's not necessarily regression, that's where we are right now. 2018 should be about starting to really transition to the next wave of players coming through, to truly set up the core of young players with many years of team control remaining. At the same time, players who seemingly had career years in 2017 (Never mind that most of our players were inexperienced enough for there to be no baseline to compare to) may simply be on an upwards trajectory. You never know.

But these are very early days. Who knows what the offseason will bring. If there's another Travis Shaw type of trade to be made, or some big free agent signing can be had for a reasonable salary and contract length, then that could have a major impact without changing the overall path. Certainly going to be an interesting offseason!

You could make that argument, but run differential also includes the failed Feliz, Milone, and Espino experiments, and the complete implosion of Wily Peralta. None of those players will be on the roster moving forward. Replacing them with Knebel, Woodruff, Hader, Taylor Williams, and perhaps Swarzak who has said he really wants to come back, is a different talent level.


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Offline  Re: 2017 vs. 2018
#40

Posted: October 04, 2017, 6:20 AM Post
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There are lots of good points made here.

A couple that I haven't seen:

1. Some players sustain success: For example, Corey Knebel may neither regress nor improve, he might just join Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman as an elite Closer with 15 k/9 stuff. This isn't a 1/10000 chance these days, as there are more than a handful of these guys in the majors. Likewise, Domingo Santana showed incredible ability to hit strikes, and very hard this year. If he changes nothing, he will be a star player next year.

2. Stearns has shown the ability to continue to mine, cheaply, I might add, for new additions to the team. I have no doubt that he will ad a player or two that we are not expecting that will greatly outplay expectations. This has been true of MANY players over the past two seasons (Villar, Pina, Broxton, Shaw, Sogard, Thames, Aguilar, etc)


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