Photo: Jeff Chiu/APThe Brewers learned yesterday that Alex Gonzalez has a torn ACL, meaning they have lost three regulars (totaling somewhere around five wins) for the rest of the season. In a year that has been almost nothing but bad news, this may be the worst break yet. The Brewers have already lost Chris Narveson and Mat Gamel, but they will likely be able to recoup most of their value with their replacements: Taylor Green may even end up being a better hitter than Gamel, and Marco Estrada has been competent as fans count the days until the arrival of Wily Peralta. Gonzalez is/was far from the Brewers’ best player, but when it comes to replacing him at shortstop, the Brewers' in-house options -- Cesar Izturis, Edwin Maysonet, and whatever crazy position-change scenario you want to come up with -- look sparse and unappealing.
Pretty much every reasonable person would agree with that statement, but today we’re going to try to look at it a little closer. How much were Sea Bass’s bat and glove worth to the Brewers? What will they lose as a result of having to go with Izturis and/or Maysonet? Is the Crew done if they can’t make a trade soon? We’ll try to answer those questions in a little more detail today.
First, we’ll try to estimate what Gonzalez might be expected to produce had he stayed healthy. As far as offense goes, we can do that with Fangraphs’ rest-of-season ZiPS projections. Unaware of his torn ACL, ZiPS expects Gonzalez to hit .246/.286/.399 in his next 426 plate appearances, for a total of 44.4 runs created. Yes, “44.4 runs created” doesn’t mean anything to anyone on its own, but it does work well for comparisons, which is exactly what we want to do here.
read more: What Will Gonzalez's Injury Cost The Brewers?