Why the Milwaukee Brewers Need a Change at Closer
I am expecting a lot of opposition to this article, but it needs to be said: The Milwaukee Brewers need a new closer.
Trevor Hoffman, 42, has been the Brewers' closer since last year, and it's looking like this could and should be his final stop.
The all-time saves leader has 596 saves in his 18-year career, but is struggling to lock down just four more for a career total of 600.
Last season, Hoffman was solid, sporting a 3-2 record with an ERA of 1.83 and 37 saves while only blowing four all season. As a Brewer fan, I was expecting the same from one of the best closers of all time.
So far my wish has been denied.
In 14 appearances this season, Hoffman sports a 1-3 record with an ugly ERA of 13.15 and five of 10 saves converted. That ERA is unacceptable at any level, let alone for a professional closer.
With five blown saves, he has blown more saves in 14 appearances than he did all last season. That's five extra wins the Brewers could have. Instead of being a 15-24 team, they'd be a 20-19 team, and only three games back in the division.
Hoffman's low fastball velocity is even lower, and his change-up is hanging in the zone way too much. I'll give him the fact that two of his game-losing/tying home runs have been golfed out of the park, but when you're the all-time saves leader and your team can't count on you to save a win, it's time to hang it up.
I hate to be the one that talks bad of Trevor Hoffman, but I can't stand watching him pitch because it's easy to see he doesn't have it anymore. I am all in favor of him getting his 600th save in a Brewers uniform, but what about after that?
If it were up to me, I would trot him out there every now and then to try to get 600, and if he can't, let him go. We have a closer-in-the-making in Triple-A named Zach Braddock, unlike Hoffman, he can really bring the heat. Braddock is 0-0 with a 4.80 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched. His ERA inflated after one bad outing.His fastball is clocked at mid to upper 90's.
Regardless of the way Trevor finishes, I think he will retire after this year, and we will hand the ball over to the closer of the future.
It pains me to see my beloved Brewers get a lead and Hoffman come in and blow the whole thing. It's time to look towards the future.
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