Series Preview: Milwaukee Brewers vs Colorado Rockies

3 of 3

Jun 12, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers outfielders S. Peterson (35), R. Braun (8) and G. Parra (28) celebrate following the game against the Washington Nationals at Miller Park. Milwaukee won 8-4. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s Meet The Brewers

I spoke to Peter Schwichtenberg, the editor of Reviewing The Brew, FanSided’s Milwaukee Brewers site (@ReviewngTheBrew), about the Crew and what Rockies fans should expect in the three games taking place over the weekend.

First off, let’s revisit the Opening Series – was the Rockies’ sweep the beginning of a bad season, or looking back on it, were the signs there the entire time that the Brewers weren’t going to be good this year?

I thought that Brewers were going to be a contender from day one, but the collapse of last season was a definite sign that they were going to struggle. Adam Lind was a big addition that I thought would be enough, but down years from many have played a part as they have continued to struggle to score.

While Jimmy Nelson (the biggest question mark in the rotation heading into the season) hasn’t been bad, veteran arms of Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse have been awful for the greater part of the season.

What’s gone on since we saw you at the start of April? What should Rockies fans know about the Brewers over the past two months?

Well, the losing has continued. There have been some hot runs, but they have often followed those streaks up with a week of struggle. They have played with a better energy as of late and they don’t quit even when down big, but in all honesty this team has not changed much.

Since the series, Ryan Braun had a great May and he has started to look a bit more like MVP than the player we saw for parts of the last two seasons. After getting no production from second base for most of the season, Scooter Gennett is back with the team and starting to get back to the hitter he was throughout the rest of his short career. With Khris Davis on the disabled list, Gerardo Parra has become and everyday fixture in the outfield.

I read a piece on your site outlining trade candidates, and there are, um, a LOT. Pick two – who are the two most likely Brewers to get traded in the next month, and what would a deal look like?

I would have to think Carlos Gomez would be someone that would absolutely have to go. With one year left in his contract after this season, his value is never going to be higher. By dealing an MVP-type player, the Brewers would be looking at adding two or more of a team’s top-prospects. This would be the biggest deal that could help to jumpstart the rebuild.

The other player that I would expect to see traded is Aramis Ramirez. Though he isn’t hitting like the player he was for the most part in his career, I could see him being a big piece added for the stretch run. With his giant contract and playing in his final season, the return will not be great, but after adding Matt Dominguez this week, I expect them to move Ramirez at some point soon to give him a look.

Your starting rotation seems to be more or less intact, with one departure – Wily Peralta heads to the 15-day DL. Which Brewers’ starters should Rockies fan keep any eye on this weekend, and what can you tell me about Taylor Jungmann?

With the way things have gone with Lohse and Garza, Jungmann is the pitcher to watch this weekend. He is a pitcher that relies on his sinker and keeping the ball down. When he struggles it is often when he is wild and he loses his command. With his size and a lot going on in his delivery, repeating his mechanics is his biggest key to success.

So far, in two start he has been outstanding in two starts. He got his first victory by shutting down the Pirates through seven innings in Pittsburgh. In his last start, he battled against Max Scherzer and took a tough luck loss and Scherzer dominated the Brewers’ bats.

He was expected to be up quickly when he was first drafted, but even with his early minor league struggles, I still view him as a factor in the middle-to-backend of the Brewers’ rotation for a long time.

The Brewers’ offense is 15th in the NL in batting average, 15th in OBP, and 13th in SLG. What do you pin the offensive troubles on, and are you ready for an offensive rehab weekend at the high altitude play-place that is Coors Field?

A rehab would be outstanding for this offense. This is a team that is full of free swingers, and while there are times that everything clicks, there are way too many times that they go cold. Injuries have played a part, but even with a new hitting coach, the approach of a majority of the club has not changed.

One MAJOR thing that’s changed in Milwaukee: managers. How has Craig Counsell done in the nearly two months he’s been at the helm in Milwaukee? Is he a long-term solution, or just a let’s-finish-the-year kind of guy?

I like Craig and feel he is a long-term guy. When he took over, this team was still going nowhere. Considering where this roster is at this point he has done a fine job getting this team to play around .500 ball throughout most of his time so far. While not much has changed in the standings, I do feel that they play with more energy and passion. Counsell is a hard-nosed kind of guy who holds the players accountable for unacceptable mistakes.

Finally, because I’ve asked you a bunch of depressing questions about the Brew Crew, let’s end positive – are there one or two feel-good stories going on in the Brewers’ organization right now? Which exciting young players are going to help the Crew turn over to become a good team again?

Pitching in the fifth spot since Peralta’s injury has been awesome to see. Players like Tyler Wagner, Tyler Cravy and Jungmann have all gotten the call to pitch in that spot and had some success. I am hopeful that moves can be made in these next two months to allow these players to continue to prove themselves at the major league level.

Another positive has been the resurgence of Scooter Gennett. He had no production before being sent down, but since his call-up last week he is batting .360 with five extra base hits. He looks to be back and finally someone who can give them production from the second base position this season.

The minor leagues have also been a positive all year. The Biloxi Shuckers have won the Southern League South in their inaugural season and future superstars, Orlando Arica and Tyrone Taylor are keys showing why they are a big part of Milwaukee’s future while dominating there. Other position players include Clint Coulter and Victor Roache, two slugging outfielders, who look to hammer the Miller Park bleachers soon.

Pitchers include players like Tyler Cravy and Tyler Wagner and also other arms like Jorge Lopez, Devin Williams and the 19-year-old Kodi Medeiros.

And finally, predict the series: do you avenge our Opening Series road sweep with one of your own?

I would love to say that they will come back and avenge the opening series sweep, but with the way things have gone so far it is hard to imagine that happening. My hope for the series is that Jungmann is able to continue pitching well on Friday night, and they are able to pull off a series win. They haven’t swept a series yet this year and with the way things have gone for Garza and Lohse, I don’t imagine that happening this weekend. My predication is that the Brewers take two of three.

Huge thanks to Peter for giving us such great insight into the Brewers, a team the Rockies won’t see again this season, unless both clubs make the playoffs (haha, just kidding, see you next year, Milwaukee).

Readers — we’ll see you guys tonight for game one of the series! 

More from Rox Pile