How will the new Brewers players’ debuts match up with other Brew Crew debuts?
When (or if) the 2020 Major League Baseball season begins, the Brewers will have several new players who have never suited up in a Brewers uniform who will likely play important roles for the club. Players like outfielder Avisail Garcia, catcher Omar Narvaez, infielders Justin Smoak and Luis Urias, and pitchers Brett Anderson, Eric Lauer and Josh Lindblom will be making their debut with the Brewers in 2020 (hopefully).
The question: When they do make their debuts, will they start with a bang or a whimper? When compared to other Brewers, will any of these new players have a Brew Crew debut like Carlos Gomez? After coming to the Brewers in a trade with the Twins, Gomez made his Brewers debut on April 5, 2010 with four hits in five at-bats, a solo HR and a stolen base.
Or will any of the pitchers have a debut like Yovani Gallardo? Making his MLB and Brewers debut on June 18, 2007, Gallardo was the starting pitcher and winner in the Brewers 5-4 win over the San Francisco Giants. Gallardo went 6.1 innings and allowed only four hits and struck out four in the victory.
Let’s take a look at some of the Brewers debuts for some of the club’s top players over the years. Baseball-Reference.com on the Brewers’ team page lists the team’s Top 24 players in franchise history based on each players’ WAR rating (WAR stands for Wins Above Replacement). The stat gives a number to each players’ overall contribution to the team. Robin Yount tops the Brewers franchise with a 77.3 WAR, followed by Paul Molitor (60.0) and Ryan Braun is third (46.8).
Here is a snapshot of the top 24 Brewers player’s debut with the team.
Robin Yount, April 5, 1974: 0-for-1, walk
Paul Molitor, April 7, 1978: 1-for-5, one RBI
Ryan Braun, May 25, 2007: 1-for-4, two RBIs
Cecil Cooper, April 7, 1977: 1-for-4
Teddy Higuera, April 23, 1985: 5.1 IP, seven hits, 4 ER, five strikeouts (no decision-starting pitcher)
Don Money, April 6, 1973: 0-for-3
Jeff Cirillo, May 11, 1994: 0-for-0, came in as a defensive replacement in the seventh inning, no at-bat
Ben Sheets, April 5, 2001: 6.0 IP, six hits, 5 ER, five strikeouts (starting pitcher, losing pitcher)
George Scott, April 15, 1972: 0-for-4, one RBI
Jim Gantner, September 3, 1976: 2-for-4, one run scored, one walk
Geoff Jenkins, April 24, 1998: 2-for-4, solo HR, two runs scored
Ben Oglivie, April 8, 1978: 2-for-5, two runs scored, one walk
Carlos Gomez, April 5, 2010: 4-for-5, double, solo HR, two runs scored, stolen base
Sixto Lezcano, September 10, 1974: 3-for-5, one RBI
Chris Bosio, August 3, 1986: 3.0 IP, three hits, one earned run, one strikeout (came in as a reliever, no decision)
Gorman Thomas, April 6, 1973: 1-for-3, triple
Yovani Gallardo, June 18, 2007: 6.1 IP, four hits, 3 ER, 4 strikeouts (Starting pitcher, got the win)
Bill Wegman, September 14, 1985: 7.0 IP, five hits, two earned runs, four strikeouts (starting pitcher, no decision)
Mike Caldwell, June 19, 1977: 2 IP, no hits, one walk, one strikeout (came in as a reliever, no decision)
Jonathan Lucroy, May 21, 2010: 1-for-2
Prince Fielder, June 13, 2005: 0-for-4
Jeromy Burnitz, September 3, 1996: 0-for-4
Moose Haas, September 8, 1976: 3 IP, three hits, one earned run, two strikeouts (came in as a reliever, no decision)
Corey Hart, May 25, 2004: 0-for-1, strikeout
In addition to the above 24 players, the Brewers have five more players who played with the team who are members of baseball’s Hall of Fame (in addition to Yount and Molitor): Rollie Fingers, Hank Aaron, Ted Simmons, Trevor Hoffman and Don Sutton. Their Brewers debuts went as follows:
Rollie Fingers, April 11, 1981: 1.2 IP, two hits, no earned runs, one strikeout, one walk (came in as a reliever, got the save)
Hank Aaron, April 8, 1975: 0-for-3, walk
Ted Simmons, April 11, 1981: 0-for-4, one run scored, one strikeout
Trevor Hoffman, April 27, 2009: one inning pitched, no hits, no earned runs (came in as a reliever, no decision)
Don Sutton, 9 IP, complete game, eight hits allowed, four earned runs, two walks, three strikeouts (starting pitcher, got the loss)
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Even though they have only won two Gold Glove awards since 1982 (Robin Yount was honored in 1982 and Carlos Gomez was selected in 2013), that doesn’t mean the Milwaukee Brewers have not had players who were stellar defensively… and worthy of an award.
In fact, there have been several players who have gone the whole season without an error. While that doesn’t necessarily mean that player should have won the Gold Glove that year, it does indicate that several Brewers players had a “perfect” season with the glove in those seasons.
Here’s a look at the Brewers players who went the whole season without an error (minimum of 300 innings played in the field that season to qualify for this list).
Ryan Braun, OF, 2008, 1,310.1 errorless innings
Gorman Thomas, OF, 1978, 1,173 errorless innings
Geoff Jenkins, OF, 2003, 1,088.1 errorless innings
Darryl Hamilton, OF, 1992, 1,056 errorless innings
Devon White, OF, 2001, 784 errorless innings
Logan Schafer, OF, 2013, 663 errorless innings
Nyler Morgan, OF, 2012, 587.1 errorless innings
Carlos Gomez, OF, 2011, 569 errorless innings
Steve Brye, OF, 1977, 555.1 errorless innings
Mike Felder, OF, 1986, 348 errorless innings
Mike Hegan, 1B, 1971, 319.2 errorless innings
Joe Kmak, C, 1993, 316.1 errorless innings
Jim Colburn, P, 1973, 314.1 errorless innings
Bill Schroeder, C-1B, 1988, 300 errorless innings
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Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura are enjoying breakout seasons with the Brewers. But is it possible that one (or both) of these players could reach numbers that have only been seen a handful of times in baseball history?
Gomez and Segura are currently tied for the National League (and MLB) lead in triples with eight. Both are already in double-figures with home runs, Gomez with 12, Segura with 10. Is it possible that one (or both of them) will end the season with 20-plus triples and 20-plus home runs?
As it stands right now, both players are on a pace to reach 19 triples for the season. Gomez is on a 29-homer pace for the year, while Segura is on a pace to hit 24 four-baggers. Looking back in baseball history, there have only been seven players since the beginning of the national pastime who have hit 20 or more home runs and 20 or more triples in the same season. The last to do so? Curtis Granderson (Detroit) and Jimmy Rollins (Phillies) both accomplished this rare feat in 2007.
Here’s a look at the seven players who had 20-plus HRs and 20-plus triples in a season.
Year: Player (team), triples/HRs
2007: Curtis Granderson (Detroit) 23/23
2007: Jimmy Rollins (Philadelphia) 20/30
1979: George Brett (Kansas City) 20/23
1957: Willie Mays (N.Y. Giants) 20/35
1941: Jeff Heath (Cleveland) 20/24
1928: Jim Bottomley (St/ Louis) 20/31
Getting back to Gomez and Segura, there is not much history for these players to indicate whether or not the possibility of being a 20-20 (triple-HR) player will become a reality. Gomez has already reached his career-high in triples with eight; his career-high in home runs was last year when he hit 19. For Segura, this is his first full season in the majors after 45 games in the bigs last year.
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