2010 Milwaukee Brewers Preview

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brewers logo.png.gif2009 Record: 80-82, 3rd NL Central

2009 Prediction: 78-84, 4th NL Central

2010 Prediction: 3rd NL Central

                                        

Impact Player: Ryan Braun

Impact Pitcher: Yovani Gallardo

Top Prospect Player:
SS Alcides Escobar

Top Prospect Pitcher:
RHP Eric Arnett

 

Manager: Ken Macha, 2nd Season
(80-82, .494)

 

Significant
Acquisitions
: C Gregg Zaun, CF Carlos Gomez, C George Kottaras, UTIL Joe Inglett,
OF Jim Edmonds, LHP Randy Wolf, LHP Doug Davis, RHP LaTroy
Hawkins
, LHP Scott Schoeneweis

Significant Losses: INF Felipe Lopez, SS J.J. Hardy,
CF Mike Cameron, OF Frank Catalanotto, RHP Mark DiFelice, RHP Seth McClung

 

The Milwaukee Brewers followed up their first playoff
appearance in 27 years with a losing season. 
It wasn’t entirely surprising considering the organization’s best two
pitchers (C.C. Sabathia and Ben Sheets) left via free agency.  The Brewers were left with very little in the
way of pitching and were relying on aging vets like Braden Looper and Jeff
Suppan
to carry the staff which was anchored by the very talented, but
largely inexperience Yovani Gallardo.  The young and talented lineup finished 3rd
in the NL in runs scored, but the pitching staff was second from the bottom in
ERA.  The Brewers are hoping that the
acquisition of Randy Wolf, Doug Davis, and LaTroy Hawkins helps reverse that and get Milwaukee back into the
playoffs.

 

Pitching

yovani-gallardo.jpg

Gallardo is the ace of the staff.  At only 24 years old, he already has the best
track record of any Brewer starter and rightfully so.  Gallardo was 13-12 last season but had a 3.73
ERA in a career-high 185.2 innings which was second on the team.  With the Brewers lineup, there’s no reason
why Gallardo can’t soon enter Cy Young conversation.  After Gallardo, the Brewers are relying on
three veterans in Wolf, Davis and Suppan. 
Wolf was terrific in Dodger-Blue last season racking up 11 wins and a 3.23
ERA.  A repeat of that performance will
certainly help the Brewers be better than last year.  Davis returns for his second stint with the
Brew Crew.  He’s battled injuries and
cancer of the past couple seasons, but he’s a gutsy pitcher who can be very
effective at times.  He still managed
over 200 innings last season with Arizona. 
Suppan is back after a disaster 2009 that saw him go 7-12 with a 5.29
ERA and will need to be better to keep his job. 
The fifth starter will be one of uber-talented but erratic Manny Parra, inconsistent Dave Bush, or Carlos Villanueva.

 

Most people expected closer Trevor Hoffman to fade away into obscurity after leaving his
long-time playing ground in San Diego, but instead he came to Milwaukee and was
one of the better closers in the NL in 2009. 
Hoffman posted 37 saves and a 1.83 ERA proving that he still has
something left in the tank.  At 42, the Brewers
are hoping he has just a little more.  Todd Coffey rejuvenated his career last
season fighting his way to a 2.90 ERA in 78 games.  He’s back as the main setup option and a
possible closer if Hoffman starts to show his age.  37-year-old Hawkins was signed in the
offseason to provide some depth, while lefthander Mitch Stetter is coming off a solid campaign.  Veteran righties Claudio Vargas and David
Riske
are expected to fill out the middle-relief core.  Riske is coming off an injury-riddled season
that saw him pitch in only one game while Vargas has accepted and thrived in
his new bullpen role.  He had a 1.78 ERA in
the ‘pen after being re-acquired last year at the trade deadline.  Whoever’s not starting will be the long-man.

 

ROTATION

Age

B/T

Yovani Gallardo

24

R/R

Randy Wolf*

33/4

L/L

Doug Davis*

34

R/L

Jeff Suppan

35

R/R

Manny Parra

27

L/L

 

 

 

BULLPEN

 

 

Trevor Hoffman

42

R/R

Todd Coffey

29

R/R

LaTroy Hawkins*

37

R/R

Mitch Stetter

29

L/L

Claudio Vargas

31/2

R/R

Carlos Villanueva

26

R/R

David Riske

33

R/R

 

 

 

POSSIBILITIES

 

 

Dave Bush

30

R/R

Chris Narveson

28

L/L

John Axford

27

R/R

Chuck Lofgren

24

L/L

Chris Capuano

31/2

L/L

Scott Schoeneweis

36

L/L

*=newly acquired

 

 

Lineup

ryan-braun.jpg

The Brewers still possess one of the best lineups in the NL
and should have no trouble scoring runs in 2010.  Leftfielder Ryan Braun is one of the best pure hitters in the game; he hit .320
with 32 homeruns and 114 RBI last season and at only 26, he’s not expected to
slow down anytime soon.  Expect an
MVP-type season once again.  Veteran
centerfielder Mike Cameron is out
and has been replaced by Carlos Gomez
who comes over from the Twins for struggling shortstop J.J. Hardy.  Gomez is a truly
gifted defensive player but has struggled thus far in his career at the
plate.  He hit just .229 last season and
the Twins got tired of waiting for him to develop plate discipline.  A change of scenery and a move to the NL
might be what he needs.  Corey Hart not only wears his
sunglasses at night (kills me every time, I don’t care if it gets old) but he
also plays rightfield for the Brewers. 
Although he didn’t show it last year, Hart is a 20/20 threat, but the Brewers
need more out of him than they got last year when he hit just .260 with 12
homeruns and 48 RBI.  If Gomez struggles,
fourth outfielder Jody Gerut could
step in.

 

Prince Fielder
may not be a Brewer much longer as he stands to make a ton in arbitration and
the Brewers traditionally don’t spend a lot of money, but for now he’s one of
the most feared hitters in the game.  He also
works hard at his defense at first and has been getting better than he once
was.  Second baseman Rickie Weeks rebounded to have a solid season in 2009 after a
terrible one in 2008, but at only 27 he appears to have already lost much of
his power.  Shortstop Alcides Escobar will finally get his
chance to prove he can live up to the hype with the trading of Hardy and rookie
standout Casey McGehee is back at
third base where the Brewers hope his out-of-nowhere first year wasn’t a fluke.  Veteran Gregg
Zaun
is a fantastic game-caller and an extremely hard worker and will
likely get most of the starts behind the plate in 2010 after signing in the
offseason.

 

Canadian George
Kottaras
will probably backup Zaun but both are merely holding a place
until Angel Salome is ready, which
should be some time this season.  Gerut
will be the fourth outfielder unless he’s pushed into starting and veteran
infielder Craig Counsell is back as
well.  Utility-man Joe Inglett  comes over from
the Blue Jays and can play just about anywhere while the final roster spot
could go to Mat Gamel who could end
up starting at third if McGehee isn’t what he was last season.  Outfielder Jim Edmonds has come out of his forced retirement and will try to
make the team in the Spring.  He should
have a decent shot, but he probably won’t start much.

 

Pos.

 

Age

B/T

2B

Rickie Weeks

27

R/R

RF

Corey Hart

28

R/R

LF

Ryan Braun

26

R/R

1B

Prince Fielder

25/6

L/R

3B

Casey McGehee

27

R/R

C

Gregg Zaun*

39

S/R

CF

Carlos Gomez*

24

R/R

SS

Alcides Escobar

23

R/R

 

 

 

 

 

BENCH

 

 

C

George Kottaras*

26/7

L/R

INF

Craig Counsell

39/0

L/R

OF

Jody Gerut

32

L/L

UTIL

Joe Inglett*

31/2

L/R

3B

Mat Gamel

24/5

L/R

 

 

 

 

 

POSSIBILITIES

 

 

C

Angel Salome

23/4

R/R

INF

Adam Heether

28

R/R

INF

Hernan Iribarren

25/6

L/R

OF

Norris Hopper*

31

R/R

OF

Jim Edmonds*

39/0

L/L

*=newly
acquired

 

The Brewers
will be among the top run producing teams in the league again this year with
one of the best 3-4 combos in baseball in Braun and Fielder, but their pitching
isn’t much better than is was last season. 
The big plus for the Brewers is that the division shouldn’t take as many
wins to take down as it did in 2009. 
They could be in the hunt if the Cardinals aren’t as good this season.

Final Prediction: 82-80, 3rd
NL Central

 

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One comment

  1. geraldderec@gmail.com

    Well, looking back at 2010, at least the Brewers were able to keep above .500 for the better part of the season, which gives some hope for 2011. NL Central isn’t looking so good though, as 15 of the last 16 playoff games has been lost by these teams – a bit of a rough patch.
    -Jerry, http://www.goldenrule.com

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