2010 Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Preview
The Milwaukee Brewers (80-82) finished 11 games off the N.L. Central pace in 2009. The last time, and only the second time in their 40-year history, the Brewers were in the playoffs was in 2008 when they made it as the wild card. In 2007, they ended the season just two games out of the post-season.
Does the arrival of lefty starter Randy Wolf (11-7, 3.23 ERA, 160 SO) mean that the Brewers will be more competitive? The former Padre and Dodger is a veteran with an efficient delivery. Although his velocity is marginal, he does a good job of hitting his marks. Number one starter Yovani Gallardo (13-12, 3.73 ERA, 204 SO) is a strikeout pitcher who offers a 91-94-mph. He needs to command his pitches better and trust his fastball.
The rest of the rotation includes number three starter Dave Bush (5-9, 6.38 ERA, 109 SO), number four Manny Parra (11-11, 6.36 ERA, 116 SO) and finally Jeff Suppan (7-12, 5.29 ERA, 80 SO). Bush has trouble giving up the four-bagger and Parra needs to find consistency. Suppan is a marginal starter, late in his career who is injury prone.
Closer Trevor Hoffman (3-2, 1.83 ERA, 37 SV, 48 SO) spent some time on the DL last season with a strained right oblique. He’s a veteran closer with a potent changeup that he sets up with an 84-86-mph fastball. Todd Coffey (4-4, 2.90 ERA, 2 SV, 65 SO) has a delivery that disarms batters and can throw a lot of innings.
The Brewers number three and four batters are simply frightening to opposing pitchers. Left fielder Ryan Braun (.320 BA, 32 HR, 114 RBI) and first baseman Prince Fielder (.299 BA, 46 HR, 141 RBI) are big-time producers. In the field, Braun is effective while Fielder can be an adventure at first.
Leadoff batter and second baseman Rickie Weeks (.272 BA, 9 HR, 24 RBI) has an aggressive, active bat but is problematic in the field. Casey McGehee (.301 BA, 16 HR, 66 RBI), who hits right after Fielder, possesses great bat speed and power. Along with being a fine hitter, McGehee plays a gritty third. The rest of the returning lineup does not offer much offense. There’s hope that rookie shortstop Alcides Escobar can upgrade the lineup and bring even more punch to the order.
Veteran manager Ken Macha enters his second season as the Brewers’ skipper. He’s got a better pitching staff than he had last season, and veteran pitching coach Rick Peterson, who stresses a mental approach and good mechanics, has been brought on board. But all of that may not be good enough. Macha is not popular with his players and will need to show some results to keep his job. GM Doug Melvin does a good job with a limited budget.
This year, it’s expected that the Brewers will be out of the 2010 playoffs. The problem is not on the offensive end; the Brewers will score runs. The big dilemma will be with the rotation. This team will really need some pleasant surprises in the throwing department to overtake the Cards and even the Cubs.
For more info on Milwaukee check out the MLB website for the Brewers.