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?
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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.