This winter, Milwaukee has been abuzz about all of the changes going on inside of the Brewers organization. With that, things at Reviewing the Brew are going to be changing as well.
Well, not really. The only major change is that I will also be writing posts for this little slice of Brewers heaven. I hope this year we can enjoy a wonderful ride together as the Brew Crew gets ready for what will be a very exciting season.
Speaking of new additions, you need look no further than the pitching staff to realize just how markedly different the team is going to be this year. Everyone knew that Melvin needed to pick up at least one big arm in the off-season to shake things up, and everyone assumed it meant we would need to sacrifice production at the plate. Well, we ended up getting two pitchers and shouldn’t miss a beat offensively, providing everyone we have keeps up their game. That’s a different article, however. For now, let us meet the 2011 Brewers starting pitchers, in what should be the rotation order for the upcoming season.
Last Season (Kansas City): 10-14, 4.17 ERA, 3 CG, 1.25 WHIP
Outside of Cliff Lee, Greinke was by far the biggest pitcher on the market. It did not take long for the Brewers to pick him up. In 2009, Greinke took the AL Cy Young in a landslide. He still has the stuff to be a dominant pitcher, and works well in small markets. Now that he will have better run support behind him, Zack Greinke is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the NL Central.
Last Season: 14-7, 3.84 ERA, 2 CG, 2 SO, 1.37 WHIP
Yovani has been a big part of the Crew’s success in past seasons, and did admirably in holding up the ace spot last season. In realistic terms, a number two pitcher spot is probably where he would fit best on any upper level rotation. That being said, Gallardo will be able to perform more comfortably in this position with the spotlight off of him. His numbers are going to continue to improve, and last year taught us that as Yo goes, so goes the Crew.
Last Season(Toronto): 13 – 8, 3.64 ERA, 1 CG, 1.15 WHIP
He may not be a household name, but Shaun Marcum might have been one of the best steals in the off-season for any club. His numbers aren’t earth shattering, but considering the bulk of his work was done against the AL East they stack up against pretty much anyone in the majors. Marcum is a solid, dependable pitcher who will do well outside of his old hard hitting division. The NL Central should play to his strengths and he will have a great season.
Last Season: 13 – 12, 4.17 ERA, 1 CG, 1 SO, 1.39 WHIP
Last Season, Randy Wolf was inconsistent at best, but hung some great numbers at the end of the year. This season, the club may not have to rely on his experience as much with the influx of younger talent, and we may see a more reliable pitcher in Wolf throughout the season. Age is the one cause for concern, as he has been playing since the turn of the century. In the last few years however, older pitchers have been able to outsmart the young eager hitters, so Wolf’s case might be a wait-and-see situation.
Last Season: 12 – 9, 4.99 ERA, 1.38 WHIP
Control issues saddled Narveson for most of the season, but he did manage a handful of quality of starts last year. He is the obvious choice to round out the rotation, barring any more moves or solid competition from within the club. With some solid offensive support and more leadership around him, he may just be able to reign in his issues and make this rotation one of the best in the Bigs. No one is looking for him to be an all-star pitcher, and he doesn’t have to be. He just has to be dependable.
In summation, Milwaukee’s pitching is geared up for a great year. A lot will be riding on these shoulders in the upcoming season, and with everyone healthy and happy there shouldn’t be a lot of issues. Now that we’ve been introduced, feel free to get excited. I know I am.