Monday, September 25, 2023

Mark of the Beast


Anyone who had 'Mark Canha being the most effective deadline acquisition' on their bingo cards can collect.

Two months removed, not all of these gambits have gone according to plan. Jack Flaherty was supposed to fill the void of John Means...but now Means is back and showing Flaherty how it's done. Max Scherzer was supposed to be the kill switch to the AL West, now he's hurt and watching them clinch from the sidelines. Lucas Giolito was supposed to keep the Angels surging, and y'all know how that ended. Even keeping in mind surprises like Josh Bell, relative successes like Michael Lorenzen and Aaron Civale, and successes with caveats like Paul Sewald, I don't think anyone has made an impact on their new team like Mark Canha.

I just think about how listless this outfield in Milwaukee was in the first half. Christian Yelich was awesome, of course, but the rest of it felt very one-dimensional. Joey Wiemer was great defensively, but his offensive struggles were his undoing, which is why he probably won't make the team's postseason roster. Tyrone Taylor finally had a chance to start, but he's only hit .233 and hasn't starred as much as he'd like to. Even with Sal Frelick creeping in towards the end of July, it felt very lopsided. Then Canha arrived, and now Yelich-Canha-Frelick is one of the stronger outfields in the postseason picture.

Since coming over from the Mets, Canha has hit .296 with 32 RBIs and 48 hits in 46 games. He also has a 1.2 WAR, which is higher than roughly half the Opening Day starters. The team is also 31-18 since he got here, not solely because of his efforts but definitely not at the detriment of them. Canha's exactly what the Brewers needed, a contact hitting outfielder with occasional power perks who could play multiple roles. He's a handy guy to have around in general, no wonder the A's and Mets loved him so much. Yes, it's nice that Carlos Santana has 10 homers, but power hitting isn't the priority here.

The Brewers' postseason gameplan involves A.) outpitching everybody, B.) outdefending everybody and C.) contact hitting when everyone least expects it. They are arguably a more refined version of the 2022 Guardians, and they are hotter than anyone could have expected right now. I'm excited to see what they'll do in October.

Coming Tomorrow- I promised I wouldn't gloat. I might gloat a little. Anyway, another former Met.

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