Five Things I Know I Think About The Milwaukee Brewers

Being a Milwaukee Brewers fan is the opposite of fun right now. It hasn’t been fun all season with the exception of Jonathan Lucroy’s walk-off sacrifice fly on Opening Day and a few other positives along the way. We’ve had to go through more than any sports fan should ever have to this year, starting with Ryan Braun‘s suspension and ending with the trade of John Axford to the St. Louis Cardinals. Seriously, why did Doug Melvin do that?

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Usually, when a team is a million games below .500, they go out and make moves to better themselves before the upcoming season. The Brewers are unlikely to do this and here’s why: they believe in their farm hands, even though Baseball Prospectus ranked them as the third-worst minor league system in baseball. Besides, the Brewers aren’t known for making huge splashes in the winter (no, I don’t consider Kyle Lohse a big signing). If prospects like Jimmy Nelson and Tyler Thornburg develop into the players the Brewers think they will, there’s no need to hunt the forests of free agency.

As I’ve said before, it will be at least a few years before the Brewers can contend again. But while we wait, here are five things I know I think about the Crew.

 

1. I think Rickie Weeks is no longer looking over his shoulder for Scooter Gennett; he’s looking straight ahead. While Weeks was busy striking out and getting injured, Gennett was making a case for the starting job next season. He’s currently hitting .342 while slugging .550 and showing no signs of slowing  down. But the Brewers owe Weeks $11 million next year which will force them to make a decision. Do they keep him or get rid of him? I predict they’ll hang on to the former N0. 2 overall draft pick and platoon him with Gennett. Melvin isn’t going to pay him to sit on the bench. Besides, Gennett is hitting only. 084 against southpaws.

2. I think Yovani Gallardo‘s gotta go. Send him packing, ship him off, and forget about him. He’s just not that good. By no means is he an ace and labeling him as a solid No. 2 starter is a stretch. He has only one more year on his contract meaning he’ll look like a juicy steak to other teams. Pull the plug on him, Doug.

3. I think Ryan Braun will have a monster season in 2014. April will probably be a slow month since he’ll be dealing with a downpour of boos everywhere he goes (including Miller Park), but once he adjusts to the hatred of 75% of baseball fans/players, Braun will be Braun. Let’s face it. He didn’t need to use steroids to be great; he was already great and will continue to be. I think Braun will fight for the MVP, but he won’t win, because, you know.

4. I think Juan Francisco has a future in Milwaukee. I know he can’t hit lefties and I know he’s had a horrid second half but the dude has monster power. If he finds consistency, look out. I don’t see him playing first base, however. I’m going against the grain when I say this but he’s more suited for third. Give the first base job to Mat Gamel or Hunter Morris. Part of Francisco’s recent struggle is because he’s more focused on his defense than he should be. Remember what happened to Bill Hall when he switched positions? The same thing is happening here.

5. I think Carlos Gomez should be handed the Gold Glove award right now, if only just because of this. That’s the fifth time he’s taken away a home run this season – by far the most of any player. Of everyone, Gomez is the most entertaining to watch, whether it’s robbing homers, gliding along the base paths, or flipping his bat after he goes deep.


Topics: Milwaukee Brewers, September

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  • scottastic86

    Firstly, Blake Lalli didn’t have the walk-off hit on Opening Day. Lucroy hit a walk-off sac fly against the Rockies. Lalli’s walk-off came about 2 weeks later against San Francisco during the 9 game win streak. Secondly, I agree with most everything else except Francisco. There is a reason he’s been dealt twice already. You say he needs to find consistency, that will never happen because of his approach at the plate (and that will NEVER change). He is a poor man’s Russell Branyan minus the glove. I highly doubt a change of position will help. He’s been god awful at both positions.
    Hunter Morris needs way more time in AAA. The power is there but the inability to hit for average in the hitter-friendly PCL like he was in lower classes will always be a red flag. And Mat Gamel… … … … the nicest way I can put it is even WHEN he was healthy, he showed nothing that proved he belonged in the Majors. He should have been right behind Mark Rogers on the way out the door. The most feasible option for the Brewers at 1B is to do whatever they can to sign Hart to an incentive-laden 1-yr deal and see what happens. They will already have to do that with a 36-yr old Ramirez in the last year of his contract at 3B. The window for the Brewers to contend again I think opens up in 2015. Quite a bit of money comes off the payroll and the “core” of Gomez, Braun, Lucroy, and Segura will still be in the mix to use that freed up money to build around them. 2014 will determine how the rotation goes forward. Thornburg and Peralta should be locked in, along with possibly Lohse in his contract year for veteran presence. The last two spots are up for grabs between Figaro, Estrada, Narveson, Hellweg, Nelson, Burgos, Fiers, and whoever the Brewers may get in FA or trade deals. The Brewers do not need to do anything real drastic and they do not need to blow the whole thing up. They just need to pull some pages out of Dean Taylor’s playbook and learn to draft and develop well and they’ll be just fine. The NL Central will be a fun race to watch for the next few years. You obviously can never count out the Cardinals, the Pirates will have a few more years of success with their young guns, the Reds may still be a force if the payroll doesn’t get in the way, and Theo Epstein will have the Cubs ready to compete again very soon.

    • Justin Schultz

      Thanks for correcting my mistake. I have way more faith in Gamel than Morris. I think Morris is Matt LaPorta all over again. But I agree with you about the N.L. Central. The Cubs are going to be scary good in a couple of years. Thanks for the comment.

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