At first glance, the Brewers are doing pretty well with their starting rotation. An ERA of 3.82 has the Brewers sitting 7th in the NL with a FIP to back it up at 3.76. This puts them ahead of the only other team in the division chasing them, the St. Louis Cardinals. If you look further into it, the Brewers have some work to do with their rotation. The rotation is the middle of the pack for most other statistics, outside of strikeouts, where they rank 2nd in the NL. The Brewers need to target starting pitching at the deadline.
Since the beginning of June, the rotation has had its struggles. Outside of Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff, the starters’ performance has been largely inconsistent. Aaron Ashby and Eric Lauer starting game 3 of a potential playoff scenario doesn’t lend much confidence. With Adrian Houser on the shelf, and who knows what Fredy Peralta will give you once healthy, they need some help.
Luckily for the Brewers, starting pitching can be had in this trade market. The old saying “you can never have enough pitching” rings true for this version of the Brewers. Who can they realistically get?
Plesac had a stellar June, posting a 2.10 ERA across 30 innings. He’s struggled a bit in July to a 5.84 ERA, but his overall numbers show that he can be fairly consistent. He’s had a 4.33 ERA with a 4.30 FIP for 2022. He doesn’t strike out many guys with a 17.7% K rate. His K/BB rate is what sticks out. He’s averaging almost 3 strikeouts per walk and sits 30th out of 61 qualified starters in MLB for BB/9. Getting Plesac from the Guardians might be tough, given their positioning in the Wild Card race, but the Guardians may decide to sell. The Brewers would be competing with most other contenders looking for starters, and with Luis Castillo off the board, it might be higher prices.
The Red Sox haven’t exactly waved the red flag for selling as of yet, but their horrible July play could allow a contending team to pick up some rentals. Eovaldi fits that bill and would be a boon for any team in the playoffs. He’s had a 3.14 ERA in the postseason, and who could forget his heroics in 2018 for the Red Sox? Eovaldi has had his struggles this year, but if he can figure it out, he would be a great option to slot in at number 3 for a playoff series. He would also likely cost less in prospect capital, as he is purely a rental.
With Luis Castillo off the board, it’s arguable that Frankie Montas is the best starter that will likely be available. He’s got one year left of arbitration, but the A’s are likely not contending for a few years. It’d make sense for them to get something, especially given Castillo’s haul for the Reds. Out of the group here, Montas has enjoyed the best season. He has a 3.19 ERA across 104.2 innings along with 109 strikeouts. If the Brewers want a 3 headed monster at the front of their rotation, Burnes, Woodruff, and Montas would be a great bet. For a club looking for a deep playoff run, Montas could push them over the hump.
There are plenty of arms to be had at this trade deadline. It’s a market where a deal can get done. The Brewers could use some more consistency. Montas would be the one to provide if the Brewers went that route. It would cost a bit more prospect capital, but if a World Series is what the Brewers want, Montas might get them closer to the promised land.