This season the Milwaukee Brewers saw a complete turnaround in their bullpen, which had been a complete disaster the year before. Throughout the season, the Brewers’ bullpen was solid, ranking in the top five out all of 30 teams.
The question this week is, “What do you expect out of the 2014 bullpen considering its history in the past two seasons?”
Jim Henderson was an effective closer in 2013. Can he repeat in 2014? Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox – USA Today Sports
“More than likely, Michael Gonzalez will be gone and that will automatically improve the bullpen. The 2014 bullpen will consist of a plethora of young arms like Rob Wooten and Donovan Hand and it’ll be interesting to see how they perform during a full season. Unlike many, I have worries about Jim Henderson. I’m afraid he will suffer the same fate as fellow Canadian John Axford and implode. I’m excited to see Brandon Kintzler‘s continued growth as a late-inning reliever. The Brewers ‘pen won’t be anywhere near dominant but it won’t be worse.”
“I’ve learned that expecting anything from a bullpen is fools work. I thought the 2012 bullpen was set up to great after a great 2011. Obviously we all know how that worked out. I’m assuming Mike Gonzalez will be disposed of one way or another. I expect Figaro to be a larger factor as well. I’m guessing the pen will look something like this:
MR-Miscellaneous FA signing
I have no idea who the misc FA signing will be, but it never hurts to add depth to the bullpen on the cheap. I expect the pen to be pretty good, but not exceptional. K-Rod being amazing for two months helped a lot. I doubt Henderson will be a great closer, but a solid one. Kintzler is awesome, and the middle relievers are pretty good. Overall, it looks like a solid, but unspectacular pen. Of course, we learned in 2012 that bullpens are extremely volatile and we should take nothing for granted there.”
How will Donovan Hand look in 2014 after his first taste of the majors? Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
“I expect Rick Kranitz do his ENTIRE job for one whole season. I also expect it to be mostly home grown pitchers. After the debacle of adding three bullpen arms last season, with only Gorzelanny being worth anything, the organization will stick with our own crop of arms. No more Mike Gonzalez or Burke Badenhop.”
“In 2014, I suppose we’ll see more of the same that we did in 2013. There’s definitely a consistency this bullpen was able to work with this season and I think that will spread into 2014. Guys like Kintzler, Henderson and Gorzelanny are proven relievers. Even with Wooten, Hand and let’s say Michael Blazek, there’s room to grow and they still did well this season. Obviously the one chink in the armor is Gonzalez who I highly doubt the Brew Crew will try to re-sign considering just how awful he was. Alfredo Figaro is the wild card though because he can definitely become a multiple innings guy like Kintzler, but he faced so much inconsistency this year, especially with him being hurt. I think we’ll have another top notch bullpen next season.”
So that’s our take on the issue, what’s yours? Let us know in the comments below!