We got hosed. That's probably what Brewer Nation is thinking now
that we've had a chance to see the returns on a trade for Tony Gwynn Jr. And you know what? They're right. The trade for Jody Gerut(right) looked good when it happened, a left-handed outfielder who can play all three spots and bring decent pop and speed to the bench. All the Crew had to give up was a Center Field prospect who probably wasn't going to play in Milwaukee anyways.
What is that Tony Gwynn Jr. doing these days anyways? Well, I'm glad you asked. Gwynn is hitting leadoff for the Padres and in 85 at-bats for the friars he's hitting .329 with on OBP almost .100 points higher (.424). Gwynn also has five doubles, three triples and scored 16 runs in 25 games.
But Jody Gerut hasn't been that bad, has he? Yes, in fact he has. After Saturday's start against Detroit, Gerut finds himself with a .107 average for the Brew Crew. In 28 at-bats, he has just three base-hits. By comparison, the guy whose spot he took, Chris Duffy, was 4-for-28, at least he had a double.
What is really frustrating about Gerut, is how his approach at the plate differs from every other player on the team is doing. He hasn't seen a pitch he doesn't like, he swings early and he swings often. In his 28 at-bats for the Brewers the free-swinging Gerut has averaged a paltry 2.55 pitches per plate appearance.
What does that mean? Let's put it into perspective, there are no position players with a worse number on the team. Yovanni Gallardo (3.38), Braden Looper (3.00), Dave Bush (3.72) and Jeff Suppan (3.92) see more pitches than Gerut.
The closest position player to him is Casey McGehee, whose number of 3.54 is still a full pitch higher and has been going up of late. In Chris Duffy's stint with the club he averaged 4.05 pitches per plate appearance.
It's about buying into what the team is doing, and Gerut is not buying into the Milwaukee Brewers approach at the plate. Not buying into what your team is doing is an easy way to stay on the bench.
What can the Brewers do about Gerut? Not too much. Chris Duffy is no longer on the roster of the Crew's Triple-A affiliate, so I'm not really sure what happened to him. Hernan Iribarren has played some outfield so that could be an option. Jason Bourgeois(left) has seen a lot of time in Centerfield for Nashville this season and is hitting .324 down there.
Bench players can be the most irreplaceable players (Craig Counsell, McGehee) and the most replaceable players (remember Brad Nelson?) on a big league roster. Right now Gerut looks more like the latter.