While we all can be happy about the Milwaukee Brewers’ hot start to the 2014 season, there’s always a reason to stay grounded. I’m not trying to put a negative spin on the Brewers’ season thus far (as it is incredibly early), but there are some glaring issues with the team.
Hopefully they’ll be able to rebound on these before too long.
- Rickie Weeks‘ future
Like most Brewers’ fans, I want to see Weeks do well. I truly do. However, he’s making it harder and harder on himself, and in the limited he gets because of the platoon, his chances to “wow” are depleting. I’m not so sure we just hand the reigns to second base to Scooter Gennett just yet, but it’s certainly heading that way. People talk about the Brew Crew possibly trading Weeks this season as his contract runs out after the year, but if he doesn’t improve, who would even be a buyer? If there were any buyers, would the Brewers even get someone halfway decent?
I want Rickie to do well because he definitely has the stuff to be a threat in the line-up. It’s no doubt that Weeks has power, but he hasn’t been able to display it much. He hits hard balls, but right to the defense. His patience at the plate still is still suspect, which has been his downfall.
- Will the pitching sustain?
Let’s face it, the Brewers’ pitching staff has been tremendous. Perhaps, one of the best this season in the majors, but it’s not perfect and that’s all right. The question is, can the starters keep pace with the bullpen? Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse, Marco Estrada, and Wily Peralta have gone above and beyond in their starts. Matt Garza has had a rough go of things (4.50 ERA in 26 innings), but it’s early. Once Garza irons out his issues, he’ll be the pitcher that the Brewers wanted when they signed him.
The bullpen I really don’t have much of a concern about. Francisco Rodriguez has been flawless as a closer so far and once Brandon Kintzler and Tom Gorzelanny come back, the bullpen will be even stronger. Tyler Thornburg and Will Smith‘s outings are nothing but impressive while Zach Duke is putting up some nice numbers as well. Jim Henderson has been somewhat of the odd-man out with his 4.70 ERA, but has been mostly consistent when called upon. You just have to hope this continues in the bullpen, because it was one of their biggest strong suits last year.
- The first base situation.
We still don’t know who is going to be the eventual first baseman in Milwaukee, but signs indicate Mark Reynolds has done more than enough to earn the job for now. Reynolds, when not striking out, is making some solid contact with the ball as he already has five home runs. Still, his .231 batting average and 20 strikeouts in 77 at-bats could use some work. Lyle Overbay on the other hand hasn’t really done much of anything in 11 games, hitting just .135 and really becoming the back-up to Reynolds. Going forward, I don’t know that either one of these players is a long-term solution at first base.
Perhaps the biggest concern is that of Hunter Morris. Supposedly, Morris should have made his major league debut last September according to general manager Doug Melvin, but that never happened. With the hype and hoopla that has surrounded Morris’ minor league career, it’s a little worrisome that the 25-year-old still has not had a crack at the majors. Hopefully that time will come this season as Morris is currently hitting .283/.309/.453 in the Triple-A Nashville.
Well, those are a few concerns I have about the Brew Crew at the moment. Even though there are things that need worked on, I’m enjoying this 14-5 start they’re off to. It’s truly incredible for them to jump out of the gate ahead of every other team and you just hope they can play this way all season.