Brewers @ Dodgers July 7, 2024: Justin Wrobleski makes his major league debut

The Dodgers (55-35) secured the series win against the Brewers (52-38) last night with a 5-3 victory. Will Smith hit a two-run homer in the first inning, marking his fourth consecutive at-bat with a home run. James Outman made his return and had two singles. Even if he were to only provide near league-average offense, that would be a big upgrade for this team. Miguel Vargas made a pinch-hit appearance in the eighth inning and proceeded to hit a go-ahead solo home run. Shohei Ohtani added his 28th of the year, and Alex Vesia shut it down earning his fifth save of the year. The veteran lefty Dallas Keuchel will be making just his third start for the Brewers, while Justin Wrobleski will be making his major league debut.

Image Image
1:10 P.M. Los Angeles
LF Chourio DH Ohtani (L)
1B Hoskins C Smith
DH Yelich (L) 1B Freeman (L)
SS Adames RF T. Hernández
RF Mitchell (L) CF Pages
CF Perkins (S) LF Vargas
2B Turang (L) SS Rojas
3B Capra 3B K. Hernández
C Haase 2B Taylor
P Peralta (R) P Wrobleski (L)

The Brewers run out what is a bit of a getaway day lineup, with both Vinny Capra and Eric Haase in the lineup, while William Contreras has the day off. I respect starting Will Smith for Wrobleski’s debut, as the Brewers are second only to the Reds in stolen bases, and having a field day with Austin Barnes behind the plate is a bit disingenuous for a major league debut. All in all, the Dodgers run out their most competitive lineup against lefties, including Vargas and his 1.059 OPS. He’s sixth on the team in Win Probability Added (WPA) at 0.66. The five guys ahead of him are Ohtani, Smith, Freddie Freeman, Teoscar Hernández, and Mookie Betts.


Wrobleski is making his debut, and I’ll just post a brief excerpt from Bruce’s post previewing Wrobleski:

“One of Wrobleski’s best attributes is his deep pitch mix, which consists of a four-seam fastball, a slider, a two-seam fastball, a changeup and a cutter. His fastballs sit in the 94-96 mph range and can hit 98 or 99 occasionally….his slider and his cutter are a variation of each other, with the tighter version of the pitch sitting in the upper 80s and the slower version in the lower 80s…in an age where many pitching prospects have big stuff that they are learning how to pitch with, Wrobleski already possesses an excellent feel for navigating starts and staying in the strike zone.”

It’s a good preview into an under the radar exciting pitching prospect that I expect to contribute to this rotation for a long time.

The Brewers acquired Keuchel from the Mariners’ Triple-A roster a couple weeks ago for cash considerations. I didn’t realize that Keuchel was still pitching based on how he’d performed over the last few years, and it really shows the state of this Milwaukee rotation. He had a 3.93 ERA in 13 Triple-A starts after signing a minor league deal this offseason. He won the American League Cy Young nearly a decade ago (2015), and has a 6.31 ERA over 269.2 innings pitched since 2021, with a 14.1% strikeout rate and 9.0% walk rate, with a 1.67 WHIP. That includes most recently, a 5.97 ERA in 37.2 innings for the Twins last year. His Brewers debut wasn’t great as he gave up five earned runs in four innings with two home runs allowed against the Texas Rangers, but he had a much better start his last time out. He allowed just two runs on four hits and two walks over 5.1 innings, with five strikeouts on the road in Colorado.

The pitch-mix for Keuchel has been the same for the entirety of his career, and this year has been no exception. He predominantly works off his sinker that is averaging 88.2 MPH this year, his highest since 88.3 in 2019. However, even at his peak when he won the Cy in 2015, he averaged just 90 on the sinker. He uses a low-80’s change up as his primary off-speed pitch, as well as a mid-80’s cutter against right-handed batters, and an upper-70’s slider against lefties.


Here’s how the room was created to add Wrobleski to the 40-man roster.

Gus Varland was optioned to make room for Wrobleski on the 26-man roster.


Hopeful that Clayton Kershaw will be able to make his season debut shortly after the All-Star Break.

Avoiding a trip to Stockton would be nice for Joe Kelly, as it’s going to be over 100 degrees this coming week. Regardless, he’s pacing to return right after the All-Star break.


Another good read on Wrobleski.


First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. PDT on SNLA.

About Allan Yamashige

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Just a guy living in Southern California, having a good time writing about baseball. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about it rules. Thanks for reading!