ESPN's Bottom Line Widget

Friday, November 30, 2012

Why the Milwaukee Brewers Should Sign J.P. Howell

This off-season the Milwaukee Brewers need to focus on improving their bullpen which was a major weakness last season.  The Brewers bullpen was so bad last season that they had a total of 29 blown saves in 73 opportunities, which was the main reason why the team failed to secure a playoff berth for a second consecutive season.  The Milwaukee Brewers also failed to have a quality left handed relief pitcher in their bullpen, and finding one this off-season needs to be a major focus for them.

J.P. Howell would be a perfect solution for the Brewers, and he is a left-handed pitcher who can get both left-handed and right-handed batters out.  J.P. Howell, while pitching mostly as a middle relief pitcher and left-handed specialist, also has had success in his career as a closer.  Even though Howell struggled in 2011, missing the entire 2010 season because of shoulder surgery, with a 6.16 ERA in 30 2/3 innings, he came back this past season and was pretty successful for the Rays.  In 2012, he went 1-0 with a 3.04 ERA, 42 strikeouts, 22 walks, three holds in 50 1/3 innings.  He also only made $1.35 million last year with the Rays, which would fit nicely into the Brewers budget.  The Brewers certainly need a left-handed relief pitcher in their bullpen and J.P. Howell would fit that role.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Why the Milwaukee Brewers Should Sign LaTroy Hawkins

Last winter the Milwaukee Brewers let LaTroy Hawkins leave, as he signed a one year deal with the Los Angeles Angels.  The Brewers made an awful decision by letting him go after he was a key pitcher to the Brewers' bullpen success in 2011, when he had a 3-1 record with a 2.42 ERA and 20 holds in 52 appearance.  

LaTroy Hawkins, who will turn 40 years old in December, had a record of 2-3 last season with a 3.64 ERA, one save and six holds in 42 innings.  Even though his numbers weren't as good as 2011, the Brewers should strongly consider signing Hawkins.  With multiple holes in their bullpen, LaTroy Hawkins would be a good fit because he is a veteran pitcher who has had good success in the National League and as a Brewer.