The Brewers have had a good Spring Training. A great one, in fact. And I am in no way referring to their spring record. I actually think they have a losing record, but I care so little about Spring Training wins and losses that I am not even going to bother looking it up. I’m actually basing my statement on the fact that they have sustained no serious injuries.
If you’ve followed headlines, you’ll have noticed that every other day or so we’re hearing about injuries on other teams. The Brewers have generally avoided what other clubs haven’t, whether it’s a closer needing Tommy John surgery, a prized pitching acquisition dealing with a mysterious loss of velocity, or even more DUIs. Speaking of DUIs, allow me a brief, off-topic rant:
In a few days, Ryan Braun will begin a six-month Hate Tour. Just about every city he goes to will great him with booing and harsh heckling. I’m not saying that’s necessarily wrong, but when it’s compared to the way baseball and fans treat those who get DUIs, it is an absolute joke.
Ryan Braun will hear boos because of a leak that never should have happened. He faced a 50-game suspension while a panel determined whether he cheated to perform better at his job. Meanwhile, DUIs for players keep piling up. These people literally endangered lives of other people, yet they will face no suspension, no fine, and little to no ridicule in opposing cities.
Is there anyone who sees nothing wrong with that?
Ok, back to the Brewers. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.
The point I’m making is, when your biggest injury is to someone who was unlikely to make the roster anyway (Brandon Kintzler), you’re in as good of shape as you could have hoped for. Early concerns about Corey Hart and Shawn Marcum have been alleviated, and neither one is expected to miss any regular season time. There have been no problems in the starting rotation that was already incredibly healthy last season.
Health is one variable that is nearly impossible to project, unless you have an overabundance of old players or something. It’s a huge reason the Brewers were able to win 96 games last season. Aside from the Rickie Weeks ankle injury, the team was remarkably healthy–particularly the starting rotation. It’s highly unlikely they’ll only use six starters again this season, but if they do they’re a safe bet to make the playoffs once again.
They even have a leg up on the injury front compared to their two main competitors for the division. The Reds have lost their closer, Ryan Madsen for the season, and the Cardinals are hoping Chris Carpenter to return by May.
The injuries will come of course, but they just have to hope they aren’t serious and that they aren’t to their best players. If that happens, they’ll be in good shape. And on that front, anyway, the Brewers are off to a great start.