El monday pump change was undoubtedly the one of the San Diego Padres acquiring closer Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers. In return, the Brewers took on fellow closer Taylor Rogers, Dominicans Dinelson Lamet (P) and Esteury Ruiz (OF), as well as Robert Gasser (P).
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At first glance the change seems inexplicable by the Brewers, since they are in first place. They are getting rid of one of their flagship players, such as Josh Hader; who also leads the Major Leagues in games saved, with 29.
However, it is the first time since 2014 that a team that is in first place in its division has changed a player who was called up for to the all-star game that season. That year, the Oakland Athletics, then líderis from the American League West sent Cuban Yoenis Céspedes to the Boston Red Sox for left-handed starter Jon Lester.
Unlike the Red Sox back then, the Padres are in the running for a postseason spot. They were obviously the most interested in getting a closer of Hader's caliber, considered the best around today.
Bullpen upgrade and multiple options
Clearly it represents an upgrade for the "faithful friars" in the closer's role. They are going from a fire extinguisher with a rescue rate of 80% (28 of 35) to one with a 94% success rate in that situation (29 of 31). Additionally, the Californian team has the second highest number of saves (36) in the old circuit, but its bullpen in general is sixth in effectiveness (3.92) in the entire National.
For their part, the "religious" were last on the circuit in saves last year from August (6). With the bullpen owning a losing record (10-12) and the third-worst ERA (4.89), only the Cubs (5.76) and Nationals (5.88) surpassed in that span.
While with Hader, they will seek to avoid that disaster, since in his career, he has 43 saves and seven laurels in the last two months of the campaign.
In turn, a range of multiple options opens up for the Padres, who are incorporating Hader's season and a half. He has one more year of control left after this harvest, and in 2023 they could decide to change him and cover other needs (according to the moment) or tie him up with an extension that ensures he will spend more time in the organization.
Meanwhile, Rogers will be a free agent at the end of this contest, and the prospect of including him in a package for Hader was a pretty juicy proposition.
Brewers are betting
We had already commented that the "hoppy" made this change despite being first. They are undoubtedly betting that Rogers will maintain or improve his pace and that Dinelson Lamet; that he has shown that he can perform at the highest level, stay healthy.
They also have other pieces in the bullpen; like for example Devin Williams, emerge and take the baton from Hader as the closer.
Regarding the Dominican Esteury Ruiz; who could already debut in the Major Leagues, could be a useful hitter if he finishes developing in the Minor Leagues. While Robert Gasser, if he's playing right, he could be another important addition to the Brewers' rotation going forward.