The Brewers were disappointing in 2013 but their new acquisitions look great on paper and for the first time in many years, Milwaukee fans are optimistic. The team hasn’t made the playoffs for quite a while now and unless something radically changes, key players will leave for better teams. This is the kind of pressure that affects many MLB clubs and the Brewers are in dire need of results.
A quick glance at their roster suggests that Milwaukee has the kind of players needed to make the playoffs, although they lack the consistency of other teams. Without leadoff man Norichika Aoki, they had a hard time hitting balls and for one season, they have been struggling with an unbalanced lineup. A couple of names stand out from the crowd, with Jonathan Lucroy, Mark Raynolds, Scooter Gennett and Aramis Ramirez being the ones that have the most convincing numbers.
Among the players that are also expected to start during the season training and featuring the first games of April, are also Jean Segura, Khris Davis, Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun. The Brewers have high expectations with the latter, but in 2013 the powerful slugger led them down and production was below average. Pairing up with Ramirez and Lucroy should help him provide the necessary rounds of support for starting pitchers, although this is an area where Milwaukee will probably struggle in 2014.
The numbers are encouraging and assuming the top hitting line does its job, the Brewers will have to focus mostly on improving their bullpen. Gennett is not a particularly gifted player and he doesn’t hit too many balls, but he is one of the few left-handers that Milwaukee can rely on. He is likely to be moved up the ladder and keep in the 6th or 7th , despite the fact that both Segura and Gomez are more effective.
Sometimes it can be a big advantage to be a left-hander and since he doesn’t have any competition, Gennett is very likely to receive preferential treatment. Milwaukee is expected to turn into one of the best homerun hitting teams in Major League Baseball, but it all depends on whether Davies and Raynolds can rise to the challenge. In 2013, they were not too sharp and overall the team’s offenses faltered, so it would be a mistake to overestimate their ability to step up their game.