2007 Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Preview
Things have tightened up in the NL Central due to the fact that the Milwaukee Brewers (75- 87) have made what was already a very fine pitching rotation even better. If key guys can stay healthy, Milwaukee could contend. Follow the Brew Crew through Maddux Sports baseball pick packages, offering solid predictions throughout the season on the national league central.
RHP Ben Sheets (6- 7, 3.82 ERA) has great stuff and a young arm and former Card RHP Jeff Suppan (12- 7, 4.12 ERA) brings veteran poise. If LHP Chris Capuano (11- 12, 4.03 ERA) can be consistent, he’ll be a major factor. Righties Dave Bush and Claudio Vargas are excellent fourth and fifth starters. Last season, closer Francisco Cordero had trouble in Texas but after moving to the Brewers posted a 3-1 mark with a 1.69 ERA and 16 saves.
This is not a team that hits for average, with only the Reds and Giants producing less than the Brewer’s .258 team mark. First baseman Prince Fielder (.217 AVG, 81 RBI, 28 HR) had a good rookie year in 2006 and outfielder Bill Hall (.270 AVG, 85 RBI, 35 HR) proved to be productive. New backstop Johnny Estrada (.302 AVG, 71 RBI, 11 HR) can give the team much needed production. J.J.Hardy (.242 AVG, 14 RBI, 5 HR) and Corey Koskie (.261 AVG, 33 RBI, 12 HR), both of whom had up and down years partly due to injury, need to show consistency.
The Milwaukee defense had its trouble in the field in 2006, ranking 13th in fielding and 14th in double plays. Not much has changed in this area. The bench includes steady vets Tony Graffanino and Graig Counsell. Stats like this are very important when handicapping baseball knowing which teams are poised to make a run and which ones are ready to flounder.
Brewers’ owner Mark Attanasio and GM Doug Melvin possess the smarts to be competitive without trying to outspend everyone. Manager Ned Yost, who has never finished above .500 in his four years as Milwaukee skipper, has his best team ever and must come through this season.
This club is one of many solid teams in the competitive NL Central. They’ll be a threat to the Cards and improved Cubs. The playoffs are not out of the question, especially if Sheets and Capuano can do their part.
For more info on Milwaukee check out the MLB website for the Brewers.