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Inbox: Knebel's control problems an issue?

Beat reporter Adam McCalvy fields Brewers fans' questions
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

Are Corey Knebel's trending control problems being seen as a potential issue for the second half?
-- @Sean_C_Andrews

Concern as in, are the Brewers going to remove their All-Star closer from that role? No. But you can bet Knebel will be working with pitching coach Derek Johnson and bullpen coach Lee Tunnell to figure out why he had a harder time throwing strikes in the run-up to the All-Star break, with four of his seven multi-walk appearances coming in Knebel's past five games.

Are Corey Knebel's trending control problems being seen as a potential issue for the second half?
-- @Sean_C_Andrews

Concern as in, are the Brewers going to remove their All-Star closer from that role? No. But you can bet Knebel will be working with pitching coach Derek Johnson and bullpen coach Lee Tunnell to figure out why he had a harder time throwing strikes in the run-up to the All-Star break, with four of his seven multi-walk appearances coming in Knebel's past five games.

Here's one theory: After worrying about overwork for much of the first half, Knebel might not have been getting enough work of late. Only twice in the first two and a half months of the season did Knebel go longer than three days without pitching. Then he had stretches of five and four days off over the course of hs final five appearances of the half. Perhaps it is as simple as that.

:: Submit a question to the Brewers Inbox ::

Which prospects do you believe are untouchable?
--@pellscuse11

The answer could very well be none. Brewers owner Mark Attanasio characterized general manager David Stearns as "agnostic" in his decision-making as it relates to the team's approach to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. When Stearns says he is open to any move that makes the organization better in the near- and long-term, I'm pretty sure we should believe him.

What's the rotation look like when Chase Anderson and Brandon Woodruff return, if Junior Guerra continues to struggle?
-- @TheLachMan

This is a significant question, and one that will probable entangle itself with Stearns' approach to the Deadline. At last update, Woodruff was expected to be game-ready by the final week of July, and since the Brewers were willing to call him up to start once (Woodruff was injured warming up for what was supposed to be his Major League debut on June 13 in St. Louis), one has to believe they would be confident in him again. Anderson will take a bit longer. He was told to expect to be out four to six weeks, probably pushing him into late-August.

Video: MIA@MIL: Guerra gets out of a jam with a double play

The progress of both of those pitchers will figure into Stearns' stance at the Deadline. Guerra, it should be noted, looked much better before a liner off his shin combined with a rain delay knocked him out of his last start against the Yankees. His four-seam fastball averaged 92.1 mph, and his 93.7 mph max was his best in his last three starts.

Is Manny Pina the No. 1 catcher, at least until/unless he slides, or is it likely that Stephen Vogt will have the same 50 percent playing time as Jett Bandy did?
-- @bobwait

Since Vogt arrived June 27, he has 25 plate appearances. In the same span, Pina has 32 plate appearances. Looks like a relatively even split, with Pina getting the slight edge for his superior defense.

Video: MIL@NYY: Vogt belts a solo homer to right-center

Why would the Brewers give away prospects when they have no chance of beating the Dodgers?
-- @Mueles37

Why play any second-half games at all? Give the Dodgers the trophy and let's all enjoy a summer vacation.

If you could create a Home Run Derby with eight of the most memorable Brewers sluggers at their best, who would be in it? --
@brandon_berg

"Memorable" being the operative word, and seeking to be era-inclusive, I'd go George Scott, Gorman Thomas, Rob Deer, Greg Vaughn, Richie Sexson, Prince Fielder -- plus Russell Branyan and Brooks Kieschnick for fun. And I would never bet against Fielder in a Derby.

Am I just opening myself up to be hurt again if I start believing? --
@GarrickJannene

Well, yes, you are. But isn't that exactly why we love sports?

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Milwaukee Brewers