30 Clubs in 30 Days: Milwaukee Brewers

Posted: March 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

For Brewers GM Ron Roenicke, 2014 is a big year.

After winning 96 games and their first playoff series since 1982 during his first year on the job, Roenicke’s team fell to 83-79 in 2012 and 74-88 a year ago. If he wants to keep his job secure, he’ll have to lead Milwaukee back into the playoff chase, and he just might have the team to do it.

brewers2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun returns from his mandated 50-game suspension poised to lead a talented offense with an improved pitching staff also in tow. The 30-year old hit pretty well a year ago (.298-9-38) prior to his ban. He’ll be joined by 36-year old slugger Aramis Ramirez (.283-12-49) and sweet swinging outfielder Carlos Gomez (.284-24-73). Ramirez and Braun played a combined 153 games, so keeping them on the field is Milwaukee’s first priority. Jean Segura, a young and blossoming shortstop, will look to mimic his solid first half of 2013 (.325 first half, .241 after).

One place where Milwaukee has absolutely improved is starting pitcher. The signing of Matt Garza from Texas made sure of that. Garza’s no ace. But, his ability to rack up strikeouts is perfect for a #2 or #3 starter. Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse also return to make a very formidable combination at the top of the rotation. Marco Estrada, who won 7 games last year, and Wily Peralta, will make up the rest of the rotation.

Jim Henderson had 28 saves a year ago. He’s back for another go as the Brewers’ closer. The team also inked Francisco Rodriguez to help out in the bullpen. “K-Rod” was magnificent with Milwaukee a year ago, posting a 1-1, 1.09 line in 25 games.

Key Arrivals

1B/3B Mark Reynolds (Yankees)
1B Lyle Overbay (Yankees)
RHP Matt Garza (Rangers)
RHP Frank Francisco (Mets)

Key Departures

OF Norichika Aoki (Royals)
RHP Burke Badenhop (Red Sox)

Projected Lineup and Rotation (with Stat Projection)

OF Carlos Gomez – .273-24-61
SS Jean Segura – .297-11-66
OF Ryan Braun – .286-26-92
3B Aramis Ramirez – .282-19-81
C Jonathan Lucroy – .297-17-78
1B Lyle Overbay – .251-8-36
OF Khris Davis – .261-21-70
2B Scotter Gennett – .264-9-38

RHP Yovani Gallardo – 10-8, 3.74
RHP Kyle Lohse – 9-7, 4.01
RHP Matt Garza – 10-8, 3.75
RHP Marco Estrada – 10-8, 3.70
RHP Wily Peralta – 7-7, 4.16

RHP Jim Henderson – 2-2, 3.60, 26 Sv

Outlook

The Brewers have all the necessities of a solid contender. Their offense has solid contributors throughout, their defense is brewersoldoutstanding, and their pitching is vastly improved. The problem is, they lack a real grasp on consistency. Segura was brilliant during the first half last year and barely viable after the All Star Game. Braun’s suspension really threw a kink in their plans. As did Ramirez’s injury. But, the Brewers still lacked enough pitching depth to be successful in 2013. With the addition of Garza, they boosted that weakness.

I foresee the Brewers winning between 80-86 games this season. But, it probably won’t be enough in a very talented NL Central.

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