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In 2012, Milwaukee's bullpen betrayed a formidable offense and decent rotation.
In 2013, the bullpen has been the team's strength, with the bats and starting rotation failing to produce, leaving the Brewers sitting 16 games below .500 (32-48) and 18.5 games behind first place Pittsburgh in the National League Central.
As a team, Milwaukee is hitting .257 with a .715 OPS, numbers that rank 13th and 15th overall—but the Brewers have scored only 317 runs, a total surpassed by 20 other teams. For a team that led the National League and finished third in baseball with 776 runs in 2012, that's a major disappointment.
Granted, losing Corey Hart for the season hurt, but that's no excuse for such a precipitous drop in performance from what is essentially the same lineup.
On the mound, things are even worse.
Milwaukee's starting rotation ranks 24th in baseball with a 4.18 ERA, 18th with a 1.32 WHIP. The Brewers have used 10 different pitchers to start games this season, and only one, Kyle Lohse (16 GS, 3-6, 3.63 ERA), has made at least five starts and has an ERA under 4.00.
Trade rumors have already begun to circulate about multiple players on the team, including Yovani Gallardo, the ace of the underachieving rotation, Lohse and veteran third baseman Aramis Ramirez.
Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt that, while he isn't looking to sell off Gallardo and Lohse, if a team comes to him with the right offer, he'd have to consider it.
For as miserable a season as it has been for the Brewers, that's some good news. Melvin is being realistic about his team's chances and willing to explore making some major changes.
Should those be in store, this next bit of good news becomes all the more important.
Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura have quickly become two of the most exciting players in baseball, both hitting for average and power, while Jim Henderson looks like a long-term solution in the bullpen. Along with Ryan Braun, the Brewers have a solid group to build around.
It's going to be interesting to see whether Melvin gives his current roster a chance to rebound in the second half of the season or if he's going to stockpile as much talent as possible with an eye toward the future.