2 reasons the Brewers will be better in 2024 and one reason they won't

Will the Brewers' improvements be enough to be even better than they were last year or will one big thing get in their way?

Feb 27, 2024; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Brewers infielder Willy Adames against the Los Angeles
Feb 27, 2024; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Brewers infielder Willy Adames against the Los Angeles / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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The Brewers won't be better because their starting rotation has taken a step back.

One of the most fun parts about watching Milwaukee Brewers baseball over the past few years has been the existence of the "Big Three" in the starting rotation in Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta. Those three have helped the Crew win a lot of games over the years.

In 2024, fans will only get to see one member of that trio toe the rubber for the Brewers. New team ace Peralta is that pitcher as the seemingly inevitable trade of Burnes finally happened with the Orioles and Woodruff, while brought back by Milwaukee after being non-tendered in the fall, is unlikely to pitch this season.

With those two gone, Wade Miley and Colin Rea, who were each brought back this offseason, move up the rotation. Miley will have to continue fending off Father Time and show that he can stay off the injury list while Rea will need to take a step forward to be more than just a stopgap solution like he was in 2023. Can the Brewers count on both of those things happening?

Meanwhile, the end of the rotation will be staffed by a mix of newcomers, players coming back from injury, and rookies. The newcomers include DL Hall, Jakob Junis, and Joe Ross, the injury comebacks include Ross and Aaron Ashby, and potential rookie contributors include Robert Gasser and/or Carlos Rodriguez. And none of that includes the random one or two call-ups that happen every year.

So if Peralta can excel as and ace, and if Miley can succeed at his age, and if Rea can take a step forward, and if that combination of pitchers can fill out the end of the rotation, then the Brewers will be just fine. But that's a whole lot of ifs, isn't it?

Luckily, even with closer Devin Williams out for the first half of the season, the Brewers return one of the stronger bullpens in the league. So the Brewers might mitigate any possible issues with the rotation with more innings for the bullpen. Will that plus an improved offense be enough to cover for a weakened rotation? We'll have to wait and see.

Even with the rotation possibly working against the Brewers this season, there is a lot working in their favor as well. Will that be enough to be even better in 2024 than they were in 2023? Well that's what the games are for.