By: Nick “The Beerman” Staskin
MILWAUKEE BREWERS (80-82, third place in NL Central in 2009)
While some teams do it with pitching, that just isn’t the Milwaukee Brewers recipe for success. Dual-MVP candidates, Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun did all they could to try to take the BrewCrew to the top of the NL Central last year, falling short.
In 2009, Fielder put together a line of 46 home runs, 141 RBI while batting a clip of .299 and an OPS of 1.014. He is on the very short list of power bats I’d take over our own first base slugger. Their other bomber, Braun, saw his average jump from .285 to .320 in his second full season while pounding out 32 homers and 114 RBI.
However, as stated near the top there just wasn’t any pitching aside from young ace, Yovani Gallardo. And to be honest, not much has changed since last year.
Last year, part of the Brewers struggles could be put on the head of J.J. Hardy who failed to find the success that he had earlier in his young career. He was sent packing, hoping that any production Milwaukee can get out of the short stop position will be better than what they received from Hardy.
This year, they hand over the reins to Alcides Esocobar, a rookie with a lot of promise. If Rickie Weeks can rebound from injury and third baseman Casey McGehee continues to improve off a decent rookie season their bats are set, when you include Fielder, Braun and former All-Star Corey Hart.
The only acquisition the Brewers really made in the offseason was bringing in former Phillie, Randy Wolf to step behind Gallardo in the rotation. While it doesn’t sound like much, compared to the rotation from last year, the words leaps and bounds come to mind.