Inbox: More moves on horizon for Brewers?

Beat reporter Adam McCalvy answers questions from Milwaukee fans

August 6th, 2018

Do you see any pitchers arriving via trade this month or do you think the Brewers will stand pat?
-- @MikeHilzley on Twitter

I think general manager David Stearns was rather upfront that he will try to add in August, when players can still be traded provided they clear waivers first. A couple of colleagues have taken stabs at predicting which starting pitchers could clear the wire, and there are some common names: Matt Harvey of the Reds, of the Twins and of the White Sox.
The question you have to ask yourself is whether any of those options would represent an upgrade over what the Brewers have in-house. Their rotation consists of , Chase Anderson, , and , with gaining steam in his return from the disabled list -- he starts Monday night for the Triple-A SkySox, with one more rehab outing likely after that -- and as depth.
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After that, next on the list is . That's why my money is on Stearns making more moves like he did Sunday in getting from the Padres. It sounds like Milwaukee will use Lyles in relief, but his experience as a starter means he could always be used in that capacity as need arises.
Keep an eye on Harvey. One of his best Reds starts came against the Brewers. If Milwaukee's scouts think he can sustain that kind of stuff and Cincinnati reaches a point where it has to lower its asking price because there are fewer and fewer games on the schedule, that one could be a match.

I wondered the same about , so I asked manager Craig Counsell this question before the Brewers' series finale in L.A., and this was his answer:
"I'll tell you, we have not discussed that as of yet," Counsell said. "Right now, we're operating start by start, and everything is going well. So we have not discussed any plans, at this point, to put a limit on it or shorten him up or anything like that."
Peralta has thrown 114 1/3 regular-season innings between the Minors and Majors this season. Last year in the Minors, he threw 120 innings, a jump of nearly 50 percent from the year before, when he threw 82 innings.
If Milwaukee is comfortable with another 40-50 percent jump, Peralta has 60 or so innings to work with. If this does become an issue late in the season, at least the Brewers will have September callups to help cover the innings.

's Triple-A slash line of .279/.410/.423 is respectable, but he's still not hitting for power despite playing all of those home games in Colorado Springs. It's one of the biggest mysteries of this season, and until he starts to drive the baseball, it's going to be hard to Santana to crack a Major League outfield in which two spots are locked down by and , and another has been shared by and .

It doesn't sound like there were any big changes at all. The formula for 's success is simple: Swing at strikes. And while it's easy to sit there on the couch and yell at the television when he fans at sliders off the plate, it's a lot harder to lay off those pitches when you're the one standing in the batter's box.
Arcia isn't the first player to struggle with that pitch. Remember Corey Hart being so susceptible to the same thing? For many players, it takes time to learn to lay off, and once Arcia does that for an extended period of time, opposing pitchers will have to stop wasting pitches out there.

Part of the problem is that set such an impossibly high standard in 2017. But there's no denying that he has not been as effective this year, and one theory is that he's too reliant on his fastball.
When Knebel was at his best, he could spin a killer curveball to the plate for a strike anytime he wanted. Now, you hear him talk about attacking hitters with his best pitch -- the fastball -- and if they beat it, they beat it. That's what happened with in the ninth inning on Sunday. Counsell said on the last road trip that he plans to pitch Knebel more often -- regardless of whether it's a save situation or not -- to help Knebel find a better feel.

It has been addressed, both publicly when was removed from a game in June, and privately since then. As Ned Yost used to say, "What do you want me to do, bend him over my knee and spank him?"

Interesting theory. I think the answer is probably more simple: The Brewers' bullpen is good because the pitchers down there are good. But it can't hurt when you throw some velocity at a hitter after he's "only" been facing low- to mid-90s in his first couple of at-bats.

Easy: The athletic trainers and clubhouse staff. Those guys make doctors and lawyers look like part-time workers.