On Sunday, Mike Fiers pitched another gem for the Milwaukee Brewers: five hits, four strikeouts, zero walks and one earned run over six innings.
Prior to Sunday’s start he had posted a 2.01 ERA, 1.08 WHIP with 45 hits, 13 walks and 54 strikeouts in 53.2 innings. His ERA is the lowest for any Milwaukee pitcher, and batters hit a team-low .222 against him.
Over the past 30 days Fiers has been the Brewers' best pitcher.
He has the lowest ERA (.65) and second lowest WHIP (.98). He averaged over a strikeout per inning (30 strikeouts in 27.2 innings) and walked just nine batters in that time (10-3 strikeout to walk ratio).
Despite all of his triumphs in 2012 the 27-year-old may be out of job when and if Shaun Marcum returns from the disabled list this season.
In the past 30 days, Wolf has been the worst pitcher in Milwaukee’s starting rotation by a long-shot. And it’s not just the last 30 days, it’s been the case for the entire season. It's not even close.
Over that same stretch Wolf owns a 7.20 ERA and 1.52 WHIP (34 hits in 25 innings). He struck out slightly less than one batter per inning (23 strikeouts during that stretch), but his walk rate is low (1.44 walks per nine innings).
Who should be out of the starting rotation when (if) Shaun Marcum returns?
On the year, Wolf owns a 5.60 ERA, 1.56 WHIP with 71 strikeouts in 106 innings). Hitters are batting .308 against him.
Yes, Wolf is the only left-handed pitcher in Milwaukee’s rotation. It is a benefit to have a mix of lefties and righties in a starting rotation, but it’s not a benefit to have a player posting a consistently poor performance in the starting rotation. At that point, a mix of lefty and righty is irrelevant. Results do matter.
He is the most veteran pitcher in the starting rotation at 35-years-old and with 13 years of experience. Again, all that experience is useless if the pitcher struggles the way Wolf has.
A poll by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel showed that 76 percent of the 2,244 respondents said Wolf should be removed from the rotation.
When or if Marcum returns to the rotation this season, it should be Wolf who is removed from the starting rotation rather than Fiers or Marco Estrada (4.10 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 71 strikeouts in 63.2 innings).
With both Estrada and Fiers in the rotation, Milwaukee is given the best opportunity to win, while Wolf puts the team in the prime position for a loss every five days when he toes the rubber.