1. Taylor Rogers
After an All-Star showing in 2021, Rogers was somehow traded twice. He landed in San Diego after the Chris Paddack deal with the Padres in the offseason, and then ended up in Milwaukee following the Josh Hader blockbuster at the deadline.
With the Pads, he was 1-5 with a 4.35 ERA, 2.34 FIP, 1.11 WHIP, 28 saves and 48 strikeouts in 41.1 innings. With the Brew Crew, he was 3-3 with a 5.48 ERA, 5.07 FIP, 1.30 WHIP, 3 saves and 36 strikeouts in 23 innings.
He was catching too much of the plate, allowing a ton of hard contact … but he was tops in strikeout percentage and whiff percentage. Something Blake can work with, no? Perhaps there’s a tweak to be made with his slider-sinker-fastball combo.
It seems some of this was bad luck, too. Rogers, in 40 innings pitching in the ninth, finished with a 4.72 ERA and .343 BABIP, but held opponents to a .242 average and .683 OPS. Those aren’t the best numbers, but that’s an inflated ERA. The problems were his walks and control. He had a 6.9 BB% in 2022, which was the second-worst of his career (8.9% in 2017 being the worst). He hit 11 batters on the season. His sinker seemed to have been the problem; the opposition was hitting .306 with a .439 slugging percentage against his second-most utilized pitch.
Get him on a discount, help him bridge the gap to the ninth, and, who knows? He might be the final line of defense when all is said and done.