Tag Archives: Brewer

Does it matter that the Brewers have used 10 starting pitchers already this year?

English: Yovani Gallardo pitching

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

So… does it matter?

For some teams, injuries and ineffectiveness cause a revolving door on the pitching staff, specifically which pitchers will start games. But does it matter if a team has to keep shuffling their starting rotation?

First, let’s look at the Brewers. This year the Crew has already used 10 starters (Gallardo, Peralta, Lohse, Estrada, Burgos, Figaro, Gorzelanny, Hand, Fiers and Hellweg). In looking at past history, the most starters the Brewers have used in a season is 13. That has happened six times (1975, 1984, 1989, 1991, 2001 and 2002). Go back to the 1969 season when the franchise was known as the Seattle Pilots and you will see that team started 17 different pitchers that season.

(Note: For those of you that are interested, those 17 starters is nowhere near the most used by a team in a season. The most starters used by a team in a season is 24 by the Philadelphia A’s in 1915. The only other team to use 20 or more starting pitchers in a season were the 1969 New York Mets who used 20.)

Back to the Brewers. Of the 44 seasons prior to 2013, the Brewers pitching staff used 10 or more starters in a season 27 times. The team ended up winning more than half their games that season only six times. Conversely, in the 17 seasons where the Brewers used less than 10 starting pitchers, the team won more than 50% of their games in 10 of those seasons.

Here’s one more stat on the Brewers: Of the four times the Brewers have made the playoffs, they used less than 10 starting pitchers in each of those seasons (six in 1981; nine in 1982; eight in 2008; and six in 2011).

This year there have been 255 different starting pitchers used in the majors. Baltimore and Toronto lead the majors with each team using 13 different starters so far this season.

But what’s interesting is that there are three teams that have used only six starters this year: Atlanta, Detroit and Oakland. Guess what? Each of those three is leading its division! In fact, the six division leaders at the All-Star break have used an average of 7.2 starters. The other 24 teams have used an average of 8.8 starters.

Does it matter how many starters you use in a season? The numbers seem to indicate that it does. Consistency and good health in the starting rotation is important.

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Does the Brewers pitching staff need to hit more opposing batters?

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Ron Roenicke

Ron Roenicke (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently I read a posting by a Facebook friend where he was answering a question others had posed to him about why the Brewers were struggling. He went on to say that he thought the Brewers pitching staff was not pitching inside enough. As a former teammate of mine and a professional pitcher who had a brief stint in the majors, he has, in my mind, credibility in his analysis. It was an interesting post to read.

It got me thinking: Should the Brewers pitchers be pitching inside more to opposing batters? And… did my friend’s theory have any statistical validity?

Because his hypothesis focused on the current team under manager Ron Roenicke, I decided to look at the numbers from Roenicke’s two-plus years as Brewers skipper. Specifically, I looked at how many opposing batters Brewers pitchers had hit since Roenicke took over the team in 2011. The findings were very interesting:

* Since 2011 (and including games this year through June 20), the Brewers rank 30th in the majors (dead last) with the fewest numbers of opposing batters hit by their pitching staff with 79. The closest team to the Brewers are the Angels with 93. At the other end of the scale were the Boston Red Sox whose pitching staff had plunked 177 batters in that same timeframe.

* Since 2011, Brewers batters had been hit 179 times, first in the majors. That’s a difference of 100 when compared to how many batters the Brewers pitching staff had hit. Let that sink in a little… the Brewers batters have been hit 179 times; the pitchers have hit 79 batters.

* The difference of 100 batters (179 Brewers batters hit; 79 batters hit by the Brewers pitching staff) is the largest differential in the majors. The closest team to the Brewers are the Red Sox; their pitchers have hit 177 batters and their batters have been hit by opposing pitchers 120 times, a difference of 57.

* Looking just at 2013, the numbers are again similar. The Brewers pitching staff has hit 15 batters, ranking 28th in the league. Brewers batters have been hit 33 times, ranking third in the league. The difference of 18 is the highest in the majors.

* In looking at the teams that rank in the top three in most batters hit this year by their pitching staff (Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Arizona), those teams have a combined 126-89 record (a .586 winning percentage). The three teams ranking in the bottom three of most batters hit by their pitchers this season (Seattle, San Diego and Milwaukee) have a combined record of 98-120 (a .450 winning percentage).

So what do the numbers tell? Should the Brewers pitching staff be pitching inside more often?

Me, I’m not sure what the pitching staff should do. But my friend’s theory sure has the support of the numbers.

What do you think?

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Brewers dangerously close to challenging record for one-year decline

Logo cap of Milwaukee Brewers

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

We’re not even to the midway point of the 2012 season, but that won’t prevent us from trying to analyze the 2012 season and what is going wrong with the Brewers.

Obviously the team has not played up to its capabilities (and the expectations that people had for them based on last year’s playoff run). The decline in play can be traced to several factors: the free agency loss of Prince Fielder, the season-long slump of Rickie Weeks, the slow start of free agent Aramis Ramirez, an inconsistent bullpen, and injuries to three Opening-Day starters (Lucroy, Gonzalez and Gamel). We can only hope that Shaun Marcum missing a turn in the rotation due to tightness in his elbow is not more than a one-time issue.

The season is obviously not over, and with 95 games left on the schedule the Brewers certainly have time to make up the seven-and-half game deficit they face in the NL Central. They have yet to string together a long streak of victories (the longest win streak this season has only been four games) and have been fortunate to not have a losing streak longer than four games.

That having all been said, there are still concerns from the Brewer faithful. The team has a 31-36 record (.463 winning percentage). When you compare it to the .593 winning percentage of last season, that is a .130 decline over last year. If the season ended today, that would be the second largest one-season decline in Brewers history.

Here’s a look at the largest one-season declines in team history.

Greatest one-year decline in win pct. in Brewers history

1992 (.568) to 1993 (.426)     .142 decline

1983 (.537) to 1984 (.416)     .121 decline

2001 (.420) to 2002 (.346)     .074 decline

2008 (.556) to 2009 (.494)     .062 decline

1979 (.590) to 1980 (.531)     .059 decline

Looking at each of the five biggest declines above, a few of them involved managerial changes. It’s doubtful that ownership with make a change in managers, but it is interesting to note that drops of this magnitude do signal changes.

The Brewers .130 point drop in their winning percentage over last year is not the largest drop in the majors. In fact, the Philadelphia Phillies have seen a much larger decline in their winning percentage over the 2011 season. The Phils, who won 63 percent of their games in 2011, are at .456, a decline of .174 percentage points.

Following are the biggest drops in winning percentage from last season (through games of June 18).

Team, 2011 win pct./2012 win pct, Difference

Philadelphia: .630/.456     .174 decline

Milwaukee: .593/.463     .130 decline

Detroit: .586/.485     .101 decline

Chicago Cubs: .438/.343     .095 decline

Arizona: .580/.493     .087 decline

San Diego: .438/.353     .085 decline

Colorado: .451/.385     .066 decline

Boston: .556/.500     .056 decline

St. Louis: .556/.507     .049 decline

It’s interesting to note that the four teams that played in the National League playoffs last year (Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Arizona and St. Louis) are each on the list above. Add in Detroit, which played in the American League playoffs in 2011, and we have five of the eight playoffs teams from last year having a winning percentage decline of 049 or more points as of June 18.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @Statsontapp

Brewers 54-game record not providing much hope for team and fans

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Milwaukee Brewers

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If Brewers fans are hoping for a turnaround to the team’s 2012 season, their 54-game record is not providing much hope, especially if you compare this year’s 54-game record to previous seasons.

Manager Ron Roenicke’s Brewers are currently 24-30 in their first 54 games, the one-third point in the 162-game season. In the 44-year history of the franchise, this six-games-under-.500 mark is among the worst records at this point in the season. Here’s a look at the worst 54-game records in Brewers history.

54-game record, year

17-37: 1970

18-36: 2002, 1972

21-33: 2003, 1971

22-32: 2010, 2000

23-31: 1994, 1991, 1976

24-30: 2012, 1999, 1996, 1989, 1984, 1969 (as Seattle Pilots)

Of the 16 seasons listed above (not counting this year), the Brewers ended the year at .500 or above in only two of those seasons (1989, .500; 1991, .512).

In addition:

* In the franchise history, the team was over .500 at the 54-game mark in only 15 of the 44 seasons. They were at .500 (27-27) in four seasons. Of these 19 seasons where they were .500 or above after 54 games, the teams finished above .500 in 10 of those seasons.

* In 24 seasons the Brewers were under .500 after 54 games. In only three of those seasons (2008, 1991, 1983) did the team finish with a record above .500.

* The Brewers have made the playoffs in four seasons. The record of those playoff teams at the 54-game mark: 1981: 30-24; 1982, 27-27; 2008, 26-28; 2011, 29-25.

Here’s a look at the five seasons when the Brewers had 30 or more wins at the 54-game mark (and how they ended that season):

54-game record, Year (end of the year)

31-23: 2009 (finished the season 80-82, third in the division)

30-24: 2007 (finished the season 83-79, second in the division)

30-24: 1987 (finished the season 91-71, third in the division)

30-24: 1981 (finished the strike-shortened season at 62-47, winning the A.L. East. Lost in the A.L. Division Series)

30-24: 1980 (finished the season 86-76, third in the division)

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Brewers All-Stars: Players with short stints in Milwaukee

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Milwaukee Brewers

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fans of the Milwaukee Brewers have watched many of their favorite players on the All-Star Game stage since the team came to Milwaukee in 1970. Players like Cecil Cooper, Paul Molitor, Robin Yount and Ryan Braun have made multiple appearances in the mid-season classic over the past 40-plus years.

But there have also been a handful of players who have worn the Brewers uniform who had short careers in Milwaukee; for some, their stay in the Brew City was only one season. But in that season they represented the Brewers in the All-Star Game.

Following is a look at the 10 players who represented the Brewers in the All-Star Game yet played in Milwaukee for only three seasons or less.

Tommy Harper, infielder, 1970 all-star: Harper came to Milwaukee in 1970 as a member of the Seattle Pilots. He played for the Brewers two seasons before he was traded to Boston after the 1971 season. He played 454 games as a Pilot/Brewer hitting .264 with 54 home runs.

Marty Pattin, pitcher, 1971 all-star: Another member of the Seattle Pilot contingent. Won 14 games in each of two seasons in Milwaukee. Pitched in 106 games as  Pilot/Brewer compiling a 35-38 record with a 3.82 ERA. Was part of the trade that sent Harper to the Red Sox.

Ellie Rodriguez, catcher, 1972 all-star: Came to the Brewers in a 1971 trade with the Kansas City Royals. Hit .255 in 325 games (three seasons) with the team. Hit .285 in his ’72 all-star season. Traded to the California Angels after the 1973 campaign.

Hank Aaron, designated hitter, 1975 all-star: Made 11 All-Star Game appearances as a Milwaukee Brave. Spent the last two years of his career as a Brewer serving primarily as DH. Hit 22 home runs as a Brewer, retiring after the 1976 season.

Jim Sundberg, catcher, 1984 all-star: Spent only one season with the Brewers, coming to the team in a trade with the Texas Rangers. Made the ’84 all-star team in his only season with Milwaukee. Hit .261 with seven HRs and 43 RBIs. Was traded after the ’84 season to the Royals.

Dave Parker, designated hitter, 1990 all-star: Another one-year stop player with the Brewers. Parker, a mainstay of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1970’s, was signed as a free agent by the Brewers. He hit .289 with 21 homers and 92 RBI in his only season with the club. Was traded to the Angels prior to the start of the 1991 season for Dante Bichette.

Danny Kolb, relief pitcher, 2004 all-star: One of the many short-term relievers that have had success with the Brewers. Pitched in 154 games with the team in three seasons. He had 61 saves and a 3.31 ERA with the team. Had 39 saves in his all-star season. Had two stints with the Brewers, 2003-04 and 2006.

Carlos Lee, outfielder, 2005, 2006 all-star: Played 264 games with the Brewers in two seasons, making the N.L. all-star team as a Brewer both years. Had 60 home runs as a Brewer. Was traded to Texas shortly after the 2006 All-Star Game.

Francisco Cordero, relief pitcher, 2007 all-star: Had 60 saves in two seasons with the Brewers, including 44 in 2007. Left the Brewers after the 2007 season to sign as a free agent with the Cincinnati Reds.

Trevor Hoffman, relief pitcher, 2009 all-star: Played two years with the Brewers and then retired after the 2010 season. Signed as a free agent by the club prior to the ’09 season. Had 47 saves with the team, including 37 in 2009.

While the above players may have only had short careers in Milwaukee, here’s a look at the Brewers players who have the most All-Star Game appearances in a Brewers uniform.

All-Star Game appearances (as a Brewer), Players

5: Cecil Cooper, Paul Molitor

4: Ryan Braun, Don Money, Ben Sheets

3: Prince Fielder, Ben Oglivie, Dan Plesac, Robin Yount

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp