There is something surrounding the Brewers this year that hasn't been there since 1993 when the Brewers were rounding second and heading for first. Those Brewer fans out there know how that one turned out. Hopefully this team will not see the same dreadfull last place finish. With the lineup this team is going to put out there day in and day out I really don't think that is possible. Lo, Jenkins, Sexy, Burny, and Hammonds. Those are five tough outs. Belly is in shape, and the production they recieved from there third basemen last year has no choice but to go up. The Brewers are going to put up some runs. The seats will be full of fans, but will they convert all that into W's. That remains to be seen, but I am looking forward to finding out.
The Brewers starting rotation is a big question mark. You have D'amico coming off an unbelievable second half of the season, but can we really expect him to be that good again, and for a whole season. Wright has shown signs of being dominant, but for some reason just can't put it all together. I think this may be his year though. Haynes walked 100 batters and unless he learns some control he is just not a good pitcher. I believe Sheets will win the number four spot in the rotation. He has never thrown a pitch in the majors and what he will bring is unknown. The fifth spot is up for grabs. I think they would really like to see a lefty win that spot, as the other four mentioned are righty. That puts Estrada as the leading candidate for the spot. This rotation could be anything from good to really bad. Injuries will be key. If these guys can stay healthy and improve even slightly from last year this will be a good staff. If one or more guys goes down with injury they are in real trouble. They have no fifth pitcher let alone a sixth or seven.
Dunn, Toner, and Chad Green are just a few of the Brewers minor league busts. The Brewers hope to change that with a little help from the golden boy Ben Sheets. Sheets was named the minor league player of the year. I don't think Sheets will be as good as George Canale. If you remember that name congradulations, but seriously Lasorda said that Sheets is the best young pitcher he has ever seen. That is quite a complimant coming from a guy who has been around the game as long as Lasorda. I feel Sheets will win 12 games this year. The Cy Young it is not, but the Brewers would take 12 wins happily from a rookie pitcher. Many Brewers fans are not so optimistic about Sheet's future. We shall see in about four months.
These are my Brewers prediction.
I predict that Loretta will lead the team in batting hitting .340. Yes it will be that good a season for Lo.
Gjenk will lead the team in homers with 37.
The Brewers will finish 10 games over .500, but finish second to the Cards.
Matt Vasgergian will have an allstar season. That one is a gimme.
D'amico will lead the team in wins with 18.
The Brewers locked up their young talent to multiyear deals this past week. If you look back at how Cleveland built a club that has been solid for almonst a decade now that is how it started. They signed all their good young talent, and got good production from their farm team. With Sexson, Jenkins, Burnitz, and Hammonds all signed for at least the next three years things are looking up for the Brewers. In addition, they have some good young arms like Sheets, Neugebauer, and Mieses this team could be poised to make a serious run within the next three years. Brewers fans deserve at least the hope of a run. Eighteen years is long enough to not even sniff the post season.
Remember when the Packers tried to rebuild through plan B free agency. How well did that work. Not so great huh. Well the Brewers are trying a plan B of their own. That is plan "Belly". Having failed in their attempts to obtain a true leadoff hitter the Brewers are looking to Ron Belliard to fill the leadoff roll. This may worry some Brewers fans seeing how "Belly" came into camp last year as big as a stuffed pig and his play suffered horribly. I hope Belly has learned his lesson about not being committed to winning year round.