Saturday, April 3, 2010

30 Clubs in 30 Days Recaps: Milwaukee Brewers

Today we continue recapping MLB Network's "30 in 30" series for all of the NL Central teams. Now we will use the recap to preview the Brewers, and then we'll finish up with the Cubs tomorrow.

Host Greg Amsinger was joined by Dan Plesac and John Hart to talk Brewers. If you like hitting, this is a club to go see. Dan says they are a National League team who are made up like an A.L. club.

Offseason additions:
  • D. Davis, SP
  • R. Wolf, SP
  • L. Hawkins, RF
  • G. Zaun, C
  • C. Gomez, OF
  • J. Edmonds, OF


  • J. Kendall, C
  • J.J. Hardy, SS
  • M. Cameron, OF

John thinks that the Hawkins signing was good to strengthen their bullpen. Doug Davis is a very solid back of the rotation signing who gives you innings. Jim Edmonds was a big part of the Cubs team in 2008, and Plesac thinks there is some good baseball left in him.

Matt Vasgersian joined the guys from Arizona with interviews and reports. He started off by talking to Randy Wolf:

  • Wolf could tell that the Brewers really wanted him there.
  • After he talked to the GM and owner, he realized that this team was in first place in July last year. They are in a position where they could win.
  • Randy says that if he pitches well there could be a wolf pack in Milwaukee. He knows that fans there are very passionate.

Hart thinks that Wolf threw the ball very well last year. The Brewers had to do something to sure up the rotation. Dan thinks it's going to be the year of the wolf.

2009 Offensive Ranks

  • Runs: 785 (3rd in NL)
  • Average: .263 (4th)
  • Home Runs: 182 (3rd)
  • OBP: .341 (3rd)
  • Steals: 68 (14th)

Ryan Braun joined the guys:

  • Braun thinks batting average just comes out of consistency. He feels like he did a pretty good job of that last year.
  • His goal is to be a well rounded player. The transition to the outfield was not easy, but he worked hard on it every day. He "feels great out there" now.
  • Ryan feels like Milwaukee has a better team now than they did going into last season.

Projected Starting Lineup:

  • R. Weeks, 2B
  • C. Gomez, CF
  • R. Braun, LF
  • P. Fielder, 1B
  • C. Hart, RF
  • C. McGehee, 3B
  • A. Escobar, SS
  • G. Zaun, C

Having Weeks back from an injury is going to really help this offense. Before the injury, John thinks he was starting to come into his own. Gomez could be a real key to this ballclub because he needs to get on base in front of the middle of the order. Braun is a grinder who comes to play everyday. Plesac says that Fielder can do it all with the bat and doesn't get enough credit on defense. Prince can hit the ball out of any ballpark. Dan called Escobar "a special player." Corey Hart had a disappointing 2010 because they tried him at the top of the order.

Matt was joined by Gregg Zaun:

  • Going into this offseason, Zaun wanted to find a home where they had a shot at a World Series and had an exciting young team. He feels like he got the best of both worlds.
  • Zaun is excited about the young Milwaukee pitchers.
  • He has the drive to continue to play year in and year out.

Hart thinks the Brewers will have a good club on defense. It won't be great, but they have an average defensive club. If their pitching steps up, Dan doesn't think the defense will hurt that much.

2009 Team Pitching Ranks

  • Starter ERA: 5.37 (16th in NL)
  • Bullpen ERA: 3.97 (10th in NL)
  • Opp. Average: .268 (13th in NL)
  • Quality Starts: 65 (15th in NL)
  • Blown Saves: 22 (T-6th in NL)

Matt chatted with Trevor Hoffman:

  • Hoffman doesn't come to camp fighting for a job, but he still likes the rituals of spring.
  • Being a relief pitcher allows him to have lots of fun in Spring Training.
  • Trevor is more than ready for 2010.

Projected Bullpen:

  • LaTroy Hawkins, RHP
  • Todd Coffey, LHP
  • Claudio Vargas, RHP
  • Mitch Stetter, LHP
  • David Riske, RHP
  • Carlos Villanueva, RHP
  • Trevor Hoffman- Closer, RHP

The back end of the bullpen is pretty good. Hoffman is not the same guy he was ten years ago, but he still just knows how to do it according to John Hart. Trevor has a positive effect by just being around. Hawkins is in great shape himself. Dan likes the middle relief core. Stetter is a lefty that flies under the radar. He held left handed hitters to a .178 average last season. This is a must better bullpen than we saw last September.

Projected Rotation:

  • Gallardo, RHP
  • Wolf, LHP
  • Davis, LHP
  • Suppan, RHP
  • 5 spot: Parra or Bush

Plesac thinks Gallardo is one of the guys on the brink of being an elite pitcher. He has good life on his fastball and good off speed stuff. He's really close to putting it all together. Randy will be missed by the Dodgers. Dan called him "sneaky fast". Doug Davis works so slow that he can put you to sleep sometimes. Davis is a good addition who has a good pick-off move. Suppan had a horrible year last year, but he is now going to have to nibble. It will rest on Jeff to have a better year. Manny Parra is the wildcard. He is the type of guy who has a world of ability, but still has to put it all together.

Top Prospects

  • Eric Arnett, RHP
  • Zack Braddock, LHP
  • Lorenzo Cain, OF
  • Kentrail Davis, OF
  • Alcides Escobar, SS
  • Kyle Heckathorn, RHP
  • Brett Lawrie, 2B
  • Jonathan Lucroy, C
  • Jake Oddrizzi, RHP
  • Angel Salome, C

Hart thinks the Brewers will focus on drafting pitching this June.

Matt talked to manager Ken Macha:

  • Camp has gone well. Macha thinks Doug Melvin took care of the short comings that they had last year.
  • The Brewers needs to find guys who toss quality starts.
  • Milwaukee has had a very positive and upbeat spring. Their team feels like they can go out there and win every day.

Then he chatted with GM Doug Melvin:

  • The Brewers have recrafted their pitching staff. They had to improve their starters because they got so few innings from the rotation last year.
  • They were aggressive in going after Wolf then Davis.
  • Having Rickie Weeks healthy will help because everyone in the clubhouse admires him.
  • Matt says that Doug has picked up a Wisconsin accent.

Baseball Prospectus 2010 Brewers Projection: 77-85, 4th in NL Central, 11 GB

Plesac thinks the Brewers will win the Wild Card and return to the playoffs. He thinks they will be a surprise team in the NL this year.

John Hart predicts that the Crew will end up 3rd in the Central.

Up Next: Cubs 30 in 30

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