Hoffman's time in Milwaukee might not be pretty 

January, 8, 2009
I guess the Milwaukee Brewers felt they needed to do more to help their bullpen than their recent signing of relief pitcher Jorge Julio. Who could argue with that line of thinking? But I'd thought the Brewers would add someone a bit younger instead of taking a chance on Trevor Hoffman, as ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney is reporting. Even though Hoffman is 41 years old and has scary peripheral numbers that might portend doom, he instantly becomes the Brewers' top relief pitcher. The problem is, that's not saying a whole lot.

Trevor Hoffman
Jody Gomez/US PresswireTrevor Hoffman's 3.77 ERA in 2008 was his highest since 1995.

The optimist will point to how Hoffman accrued 30 saves in 2008. He'll say the all-time leader in the category is doing just fine and add that the San Diego Padres made a huge mistake in letting their recent face of the franchise walk away in a public relations nightmare. (For me, though, the face of the franchise always will be Tony Gwynn, who just edges out Bip Roberts.) Hoffman compiled a decent '08 season with a 3.77 ERA and 1.04 WHIP (thanks to only nine walks), and he destroyed right-handed hitting to the tune of a .466 OPS. That's not a bad season, and on the surface it looks better than what Milwaukee's incumbent/retiring closer Salomon Torres accomplished.