Each Sunday evening we will review our favorite and least favorite events of the previous week, and share our perspective on how the team is doing. Please enjoy responsibly.
Cheers! (Something good that happened)
Another Stranger Gets a Chance in Milwaukee: There are plenty of positives to a non-competitive season if you’re willing to look for them. Although it’s hard to keep up with all the unfamiliar faces that have been in and out of Milwaukee in less than two months, it’s exciting to think that one of these randos might make the most their opportunity and become something more than a lightly viewed Baseball-Reference page.
Just a couple of days ago we got introduced to our latest rando: relief pitcher Jhan Marinez. Fun fact about Martinez:
His claim to fame is he was once traded for a manager: In 2011, Marinez was one of two prospects sent to Chicago as compensation for the Marlins hiring Ozzie Guillen. […]
“He’s kind of been around; very good arm,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He’ll be strictly a reliever. Good fastball, good slider. Just an arm that we liked.”
Sheesh, Counsell, don’t sell the guy short. This could be the piece that makes the Brewers bullpen the envy of the league. Look for positives!
Buzzkill (Something forgettable that happened)
The Downfall of Wily Peralta: It seems like just last year the Brewers Opening Day starter couldn’t figure out a way to reproduce the great results he got only a couple of seasons ago. In a disappointing case of déjà vu, Peralta struggled out of the gate has not been able to bounce back. He’s had two quality starts in eight chances, and the Brewers only won one of those. As of the start of play Sunday, Peralta was leading the league in hits surrendered and tied for second in earned runs surrendered. Oof.
After Peralta’s latest unfortunate turn of events, Counsell did not reject the possibility of removing him from the rotation. It’s sad to think how far Peralta has fallen in such a short period of time. Kyle Lohse was at the end of his career when he came apart in 2015. Peralta’s career should just be hitting its stride. Bloody hell.
Here’s to You (Standout player(s) or play(s) of the week)
Junior Guerra: It’s a lovely feeling for a fan when your opinion on a player rapidly shifts from “Who the hell is this guy?” to “This guy is our best pitcher, I’m going to buy his jersey right now.” No one looks forward to the next shift to “Oh, so that week/month was just a fluke,” but we’re not there yet with Guerra. Right now we can bask in the glow of Guerra’s unexpected greatness. The Brewers have won all three of his starts so far, and is coming off what must be the highlight of his career on Friday – six shutout innings and his first major league hit.
Guerra’s moment in the sun is quite a pleasure when you consider that the term “journeyman” was coined to describe a guy like him:
Sometimes, you have to do whatever it takes to keep your career alive.
Just ask right-hander Junior Guerra, who was out of affiliated baseball from 2009, when the New York Mets released him after a PED suspension, to 2015, when the Chicago White Sox gave him a chance on a minor-league deal.
In between, the Venezuelan native pitched not once but twice for the Wichita Wingnuts of the independent American Association as well as Yucatan of the Mexican League and San Marino of the Italian Baseball League.
In all likelihood, Guerra won’t be hot for long. But right now, he’s a rando making good, and that’s a good thing.
Back on the Wagon (Thoughts on the week ahead)
Miller Park’s door will be darkened by Cubs fans for the first time this year. From 2010 to mid-2014 when the Cubs were awful, the fans that made the trip up I-94 were…not tolerable per se, but relatively tolerable. Now that the Cubs are the hottest team in the league, we can expect their fans to turn up the insufferable to 11. On the bright side, Brewers fans will have the opportunity to learn humility and grace, which will make us better people.
Then it’s off to New York for a weekend series at Citi Field, one of the Crew’s most hospitable road ballparks – Milwaukee is 14-8 since it opened in 2009. Of course, the Mets are the defending NL champions and are playing pretty well in a very competitive NL East, so maybe the Citi Field advantage will be weaker this year. In addition, the way the rotation is lined up, Guerra won’t get a start in New York. This might be the most unsatisfying trip to the Big Apple in some time.
(Image: Morry Gash/AP)