Derek Johnson’s Departure Puts Dent in Brewers
When Darnell Coles left for Arizona, I didn’t see it as a big deal. Lee Tunnell raised an eyebrow for me, but again, I shrugged it off. Now, Derek Johnson, the pitching guru, leaves for Milwaukee to Cincinnati, an NL Central rival, to be their pitching coach that’s where I sound the alarm. Reports were from the Brewers media that Milwaukee tried everything in their power to keep Johnson on the coaching staff. He decided to move to Cincinnati after his amazing stint with the Brewers. A part of me wonders what’s next for this pitching staff that’s loaded with promise and opportunity. Can someone come in and be as good as Johnson? That’s a great unknown.
Brewers should have done everything in their power to keep Johnson. At the end of the day, it’s still his decision, but they should have made an offer he could not have refused to spurn Cincinnati. These next couple seasons are way too important to hand off the pitching duties to someone else. Milwaukee Brewers are contenders to begin the 2019 season, and if things go well, they should contend for the next 2-3 years before we start to worry about a window closing on them. Milwaukee needs to start over in all three facets of coaching – pitching, hitting and bullpen. It would be like an NFL playoff team losing both coordinators and the special teams coach. It’s absolutely brutal.
Milwaukee needs to realize they’re not playing with the mediocre teams anymore. It sounds like pay might have outweighed everything else, and Brewers may have not up the ante like these coaches expected them to (Tunnell was dismissed by the team). If Milwaukee is serious about contending, they need to pay their coaching staff, or the turnover will continue to happen. No word on who the next pitching coach might be for the team. That said, it puts the likes of Jhoulys Chacin, free agent Wade Miley and a few others into question. If they pulled someone from a successful playoff team that would help soften the blow.
Good luck to Johnson, and I do not look forward to facing the Reds when D.J. has things rolling.