A casual Brewers fan may not recognize many of the names on the Brewers roster this year. With that in mind, here is a quick rundown of who to expect to play every position.
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Catcher- Jonathan Lucroy will be back behind the plate this year providing he doesn’t get traded before the season starts. He will be backed up again by Martin Maldonado. Expect to see an improvement from Lucroy this year after an injury-plagued 2015 season.
First Base- Stearns brought in Chris Carter to man first base for the Brewers this year, with Garin Cecchini, Will Middlebrooks, and Shane Peterson also getting a look in spring training. Carter is a power hitter who strikes out a lot and hits for a low average, but will take a fair number of walks and drive runners in.
Second Base- Scooter returns for his fourth season in the Bigs and will look to play more against left-handed pitching than he has in the past. Aaron Hill is a good bet to see time at 2nd base as well. Acquired from the Diamondbacks in the Segura trade, he brings experience to the clubhouse and a right-handed bat to platoon with Scooter.
Shortstop- Jonathan Villar will start the season as the Brewers shortstop until top prospect Orlando Arcia gets promoted. Villar was acquired from Houston in November for pitcher Cy Sneed. He has a career .236 batting average in parts of 3 big league seasons but hit .284 in 116 at-bats last season.
Third Base- Aaron Hill is being looked at as the primary third baseman in spring training, but there is a good chance Garin Cecchini or Will Middlebrooks get a chunk of the playing time as well. Both players were seen as the third baseman of the future in Boston before they signed Pablo Sandoval, and will look to get their career back on track in Milwaukee.
Outfield- Ryan Braun will be moving back to left field after moving to the right for two seasons to allow Domingo Santana to play right field. A similar season as last year can be expected from Braun, and Santana will be getting his first extended big league look. He can be expected to hit a decent number of home runs, but his ability to get on base will be a focal point this season. Center field is an open battle at this point, and you can look at candidates more in depth here.
Starting rotation- The Brewers should open the season with a starting rotation of Wily Peralta, Jimmy Nelson, Matt Garza, Taylor Jungmann, and Chase Anderson, with Zach Davies waiting should someone get injured. It would be hard for the rotation to perform worse than last year, specifically Garza and Peralta who will be looking to bounce back from their worst big league seasons.
Bullpen- The closer position is currently a competition between Will Smith and Jeremy Jeffress, with the loser likely being the setup man. Others in the bullpen will include Corey Knebel, Tyler Thornburg, and Michael Blazek. Others fighting for a bullpen spot are newly acquired Sean Nolin, Cesar Jimenez, Jack Jones, Yhonathan Barrios, David Goforth, Junior Guerra, and Ariel Pena.
Are there any questions or comments on who will be playing for the Brewers this year? Let me know in the comments!