A big move was made in Milwaukee yesterday:
Milwaukee announced yesterday that Aaron Ashby will be a Milwaukee Brewer through the 2027 season and club options for 2028 and 2029. Ashby will earn $20.5 MM over the next five guaranteed seasons of his extension.
Ashby was drafted by Milwaukee in the 4th round of the 2018 MLB Draft. Ashby quickly rose through the minors including being the Brewers 2019 Minor League Pitcher of the Year posting a 5-10 record with a 3.50 ERA in 24 games (23 starts) between Class A-Wisconsin (11g, 10gs) and Class A-Carolina (13 gs). Ashby made his MLB debut in June 2021
Ashby hasn’t had a great season thus far, posting a 2-7 record with a 4.57 ERA in 12 games started. Ashby’s road starts have been dreadful in 2022; posting a 1-6 record with a 5.15 ERA in which the opposing team is hitting .283 off Ashby in only his nine road starts. Despite those numbers, Ashby’s advanced metrics don’t look bad. He has a 56 % ground ball rate, 26.8 % strikeout rate, and 2.3 % home run rate. The only concern is Ashby’s 10.3% walk rate. But based on this model, Ashby’s is a valuable part of the Brewers rotation (for now).
Ashby’s has gone from spot starter, to a member of the rotation similar to the role Brent Suter had for a couple of years. Ashby’s is in the rotation right now due to injuries in the starting rotation this season. Freddy Peralta has been out since mid-May with a right shoulder sprain. But started his rehab assignment yesterday in Triple- A Nashville and should come off the injured list sometime in August. Adrian Houser has been out since early July with a right flexor strain; the good news is he should come off the injured list in August. With those two guys coming back, that makes Ashby’s spot in the rotation expendable.
The only concern is Milwaukee still hasn’t locked up its two horses in Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff. Woodruff is arbitration eligible in 2023 and 2024 before hitting the open market in 2025. Burnes has the exact same situation as Woodruff, and the worry is that those two could price themselves out of Milwaukee once they are eligible to do so.
Eric Lauer is under team-control for two more seasons and has developed into a consistent back of the rotation guy for Milwaukee since coming over from the San Diego Padres in 2019.