Splitting Up Lefties In Brewers Rotation Creates Questions
Based upon talent alone, many observers have penciled in Zack Greinke, Yovani Gallardo, Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf and Chris Narveson as the no. 1–5 starters in the Milwaukee Brewers starting rotation.
Even the esteemed Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote as much in an article published yesterday over at JSOnline:
It’s up to new manager Ron Roenicke and new pitching coach Rick Kranitz to align those five starters, but a good guess might be Greinke, Gallardo, Marcum, Wolf and Narveson.
However, news coming out of today’s first official spring training workout is that Roenicke has a different plan.
According to the Twitter handle @JS_Crackerjack (a collection of seven journalism students from Arizona State Universtity assigned to cover the Brewers this spring in Maryvale):
Ron Roenicke said he’d more than likely split up his lefties in the starting rotation.
The best guess is the newly aligned rotation could go something along these lines: Greinke, Gallardo, Wolf, Marcum, Narveson. Of course, this assumes there will no be setbacks or injuries over the course of the next month, which is hardly a guarantee.
Such a rotation would place Greinke as the Opening Day starter at Cincinnati on Thursday Mar. 31 and Marcum as the starter for the home opener on Monday Apr. 4, which would be a nice way to showcase the two new starting pitchers acquired via trade this past offseason––each of them starting an Opening Day, one home, one away.
Somewhat surprisingly, one could actually make the argument that placing Wolf ahead of Marcum in the rotation is counterproductive considering they perform better against batters who hit from the opposite side of their pitching arm.
In 2010, Wolf held right-handed batters to a .250/.330/.398 slash line in 643 at bats compared to a .286/.345/.544 line in 182 at bats against lefties.
Meanwhile, Marcum held left-handed batters to a .190/.233/.299 line in 385 at bats compared to a .298/.345/.514 line in 362 at bats against righties.
Could this anomaly encourage Roenicke to consider a different rotation lineup from the one proposed here?