Welcome to the October edition of “Five Things I Know I Think”.
In my first edition, I talked about platooning Rickie Weeks and Scooter Gennett and I even threw my support behind Juan Francisco. Today, I’m going to discuss the bullpen, the ideal starting rotation, and a few other things.
Here are five things I know I think about the Milwaukee Brewers.
1. I think that even though the Brewers bullpen vastly improved in 2013 from a season ago, you shouldn’t be too quick to give credit to Doug Melvin. The three relievers he brought in – Tom Gorzelanny, Burke Badenhop, Michael Gonzalez – all had average seasons – with the exception of Gonzalez (who was terrible and did not live up to his billing). The bullpen was better because Jose Veras and Kameron Loe disappeared and others stepped up like Brandon Kintzler. So if you’re going to praise Melvin, do it for getting rid of those guys.
2. I think the starting rotation will be a cause for concern in 2014 (surprise!) The best rotation Ron Roenicke can throw out there is as follows: Kyle Lohse, Marco Estrada, Wily Peralta, Tyler Thornburg, Jimmy Nelson. That’s baby-faced rotation but it’s all the Brewers have. It may do Nelson good if he spends another season down on the farm but I don’t see another viable option. Johnny Hellweg? Well, he sure didn’t prove he belonged during his spot starts in 2013. Lack of success from the rotation could cost Rick Kranitz his job.
3. I think the Brewers should have given Mat Gamel one more shot. Coming back from two ACL tears in two years is problematic but, if he were to stay healthy, he’d be a better option at first base than any current player on the roster (except Corey Hart). Gamel was a cheap option of which Milwaukee could have taken advantage but they wasted it. Just watch him revive his career in Chicago.
4. I think Taylor Green‘s career as a major league baseball is over. He was put on waivers by the club earlier this month and went unclaimed. Melvin said he planned on talking to Green about a minor league deal but who cares? Sure, at one time Green was the top prospect in the organization but he just went downhill from there. He hit rock bottom when his hip injury required season-ending surgery in April.
5. I think Jean Segura will contend for a batting title in 2014. Sophomore slumps don’t exist for All-Stars. He finished last season with a .294 even with a huge drop in production. His body admittedly wore down in the second half as did his stats. But next year, there will be no inconsistencies. As long as he improves his line drive percentage (18%), young Segura will boast a batting average close to .330.