I have always worn my love for the Toronto Blue Jays on my sleeve. However, we all have those teams we love but we keep tucked away in the closet like Clay Aiken does his sexuality. In my case, it is the Milwaukee Brewers rattling around with the skeletons.
Alright, let me start off by saying I am still a little bit heart-broken from last year. I picked the Brewers to win the Central, and wouldn’t you know it, things were looking good for your boy. In late June/early July, the brew crew were about 8-9 games up on the cubbies and looking to fulfill my jovial prophecy. What happened? My boy C-Capuano shut-er-down large. Ben Sheets injured his hamstring. With that in mind, let’s start off with the pitching.
Ben Sheets is a super stud and we all know this. But between inner ear infections and pulled hamstrings the guy can’t stay on the field. Over the last 3 years he hasn’t even averaged 140 innings. For the Brewers to crunch the Cubs, they are going to have to be 3 “Sheets” to the breeze.
Yovani Gallardo, what can I say. You saved my fantasy baseball season in a big way. I look for big things from Yovani again this year and will expect him to build upon his stellar rookie season.
Kman’s darling dear, Dave Bush is a lock for about 10-12 wins no matter how many batters he hits.
With 2 spots left, we have hot shots Carlos Villanueva and Manny Parra in the hunt along with mainstays Jeff Suppan, Chris Capuano and Claudio Vargas. If Capuano can return to form and one of the aforemention sticks with a half-decent season, the Brewers rotation could be scary and one of the most underrated in the league. Needless to say pitching is one of their strenghts and come trade deadline time, with pitching being so valuable, Melvin and Ash may be able to deal for that one missing piece. The one question mark is how will Eric Gagne hold up after his meltdown second half? I look for him to rebound in the lesser-league in a low pressure environment like Milwaukee. Even if he does implode, Derrick Turnbow is waiting in the wings and has proven able to get the job done in the past.
We all know how badly phenom Ryan Braun booted the ball around at third base. With his transition to the outfield, will the overall defense improve or will he translate his bumbling ways there too? We’ll soon see. Prince Fielder was one of the worst defensive first basemen in the league last year and has vowed to improve his defense this year and has been working hard in the spring. Will that hard work pay off? Again, we’ll soon see. On paper anyway, with Billy Hall’s shift to third it looks like the infield defense will fair better.
This team can mash apparently. Prince Fielder is good for 40+ ding dongs a year and the new guy Braun put in one of the most impressive rookie performances from an offensive standpoint in recent memory. I am exciting about the upcoming breakout season that has been promised by Keith Law for Rickie Weeks.
After three years of wrist and thumb injuries, Weeks finally showed what he can do when able to grip a bat without pain. He posted a .442 on-base percentage after Aug. 10 last season, and ranked fourth in the major leagues in walks behind Jack Cust, Carlos Pena and Adam Dunn in that span.
“With his strength and his bat speed, you just don’t see any weaknesses for a pitcher to go after,” Braun said. “He’s fun to watch.”
With all that being said, The Milwaukee Brewers are my pick to win the Central yet again.
EDIT: As of posting this, I realize that Gallardo has gone in for knee surgery after catching a spike. Fantasy drafters beware.