The Milwaukee Brewers have won 80 games in the last three seasons, which has not happened since 1987-1989, and after missing the playoffs in 2009, their fans were a bit disappointed. Baseball fans now expect the Brewers to compete, to be a good team. However, after the star sluggers of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder and budding ace Yovani Gallardo thy have a lot of questions.
Their starting rotation had an era of 5.37, worst in the MLB. It needed major upgrades and the Brewers added Randy Wolfe and Doug Davis to complement Gallardo in the rotation. Wolfe was very effective for the Los Angeles Dodgers last year, and David struggled a bit with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The fourth and fifth starting spots are still big question marks with Jeff Suppan and Manny Parra being the leading candidates. The Brewers need a productive year out of Suppan whom, they will pay 12.5 million dollars in 2010.
The Brewers need Corey hart, Carlos Gomez, and Rickie Weeks to bounce back. All these players were disappointing in 2009 for different reasons, but the Brewers need them to produce. Gomez can be effective with his speed, but must work on getting on base. He will hit towards the bottom of the Brewer lineup which may take off some of the pressure he felt leading off last year in Minnesota. Hart must bounce back from a down, injury plagued 2009 campaign.
I have to ask the question if the Brewers are wasting the potential of the Braun/Fielder combination. It is not like they are not trying to win, General Manager Doug Melvin has been aggressive in signing impact players, he traded for CC Sabathia and offered him a 100 million dollar extension, but these moves never seem to pan out for the team. While they have Braun locked up long term, Fielder can become a free agent in 2011. It will take a strong season, with a post season apperance to convince him to stay.