Braden Looper's Importance Goes Much Further than His Stats

Jeff BreenContributor IFebruary 11, 2009

Whether you want to believe it or not, Braden Looper's presence will help the Brewers immensely.

Looking at the Brewers staff before the Looper deal, the Brewers were worn thin with the rotation they had. Looper brings a 58-58 record and a wealth of Major League experience. 

The right-hander, who will join the team following a physical, also had the luxury of pitching in the same division as the Brewers for the last three seasons and playing in one of baseball's best environments—St.Louis. His 3.93 ERA is very solid, and he has also dealt with a tough role, as he was a full-time closer for three seasons.

Looper's career is similar to that of his new teammate, Seth McClung. Both players are relievers turned starters and have found success with starting. Looper has 103 saves to go along with his 24 wins as a two-year starter. 

That being said, Looper will bolster a rotation that was lacking experience. With him on the staff, the Brewers will not have to call upon guys like Carlos Villanueva to come up and fill a spot.

Looper also fills a void. With his spot in the rotation, you'll have Chris Capuano and McClung waiting in the wings for a spot, both of whom are good secondary options. 

You will also be able to throw more arms into a bullpen that is starting to look better than last year's.


Adam McCalvy of has the rotation looking like this:

1. Yovani Gallardo, 0-0, 1.88 ERA in 2008
2. Braden Looper, 12-14, 4.16 ERA in 2008
3. Dave Bush, 9-10, 4.18 ERA in 2008
4. Jeff Suppan, 10-10, 4.96 ERA in 2008
5. Manny Parra, 10-8, 4.39 ERA in 2008

Don't be surprised to see Bush or Parra moved to the bullpen depending on their starts out of the gate. There is definitely a lot of questions that need answering, and there will be plenty of decisions made over the course of Spring Training.

As we have seen in the past, the rotations and lineups out of Spring Training are never the same at the end of the season. Always expect the unexpected, and this rotation as written right now will not be the same come September. Whatever it is, though, hopefully it will have gotten the Brewers to October.

By the way...two days till the start of camp!