lf- carlos lee
lf- carlos lee
He didn't use any numbers in the actual piece, but I'm sure he referenced them.Quote:
Are the Brewers the Favorite in the Central?
by Chris Cwik - December 20, 2010
If the Brewers’ upcoming season were a game of poker, Doug Melvin just pushed all his chips to the center of the table. The acquisition of Zack Greinke shows that the Brewers want to contend in what is likely Prince Fielder‘s last season with the team. After finishing near the bottom of the NL in almost every major pitching category, the Brewers made starting pitching a priority this off-season. With their core offensive players returning, will their off-season acquisitions be enough to push the Brewers to the top of the NL Central standings?
The Brewers might be trying to win now, but as Marc Hulet explained in an earlier post; the Brewers traded away three major league-ready players. Both Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar were penciled in as starters, and Jeremy Jeffress was a likely candidate for the bullpen. Unfortunately, the Brewers don’t have solid replacements for any of those players.
Carlos Gomez is expected to start in center field following Cain’s departure. While Gomez dazzles in the field and on the base paths, his career .293 OBP leaves much to be desired. Despite his struggles at the plate, Gomez’s defense should make him a useful contributor during the upcoming season. In his first press conference with the Brewers, Ron Roenicke emphasized being aggressive on the bases, which should play into Gomez’s strengths.
The scariest aspect of the Yuniesky Betancourt acquisition is that (gulp) Melvin has already penciled him in as a starter. Betancourt carries a rather infamous reputation among the stat-community, and it’s safe to say he isn’t the answer for the Brewers. There is a chance that Craig Counsell returns to the team, but likely as Betancourt’s backup. Offensively, the Brewers will need to succeed despite employing both Betancourt and Gomez as starters.
Their pitching rotation, however, has drastically improved this off-season. The acquisitions of Greinke and Shaun Marcum give the Brewers one of the best rotations in the National League. Though many considered Greinke’s 2010 a let-down, he was still worth 5.2 WAR, better than any pitcher on the Brewers’ roster. Yovani Gallardo might be named the opening-day starter, but Greinke will be the best pitcher on the team next season.
Shaun Marcum carries incredible value as a third starter. Despite missing the entire 2009 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Marcum turned in the best season of his career in 2010. Though most pitchers typically struggle with control following the surgery, Marcum posted one of the best BB/9 rates of any starting pitcher last season. Brewers’ starters posted the worst BB/9 rate in the league last season, so Marcum’s ability to limit walks will be a welcome addition to this rotation.
The Brewers’ biggest threats in the Central are the Reds and the Cardinals. While neither team has been particularly active during the off-season, both are expected to contend in 2011. The Reds are the reigning NL Central champs, and will continue to rely on the development of their young talent next season. A healthy Edinson Volquez will strengthen the rotation, but the Reds remain relatively unchanged heading into 2011.
The Cardinals have made a few moves this off-season, but none of them are considered major acquisitions. Lance Berkman may still have some value left in his bat, but his poor defense could offset those gains. Ryan Theriot and Jake Westbrook are useful players, but neither are game-changing talents. Once again, the Cardinals’ success will depend on Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, and the strong 1-2 at the top of the rotation.
Of all the teams in the Central, the Brewers have made the largest strides this off-season. While the Reds and Cardinals focused on marginal improvements, the Brewers completely overhauled their rotation. The Reds and Cardinals should compete for the division, but the Brewers’ off-season acquisitions will be tough to beat.
Merry Christmas to all the Brewers fans. :cheers:
are we doing fantasy again this year?
I will assume some guys will do it. I don't do fantasy sports so you guys can organize it sometime in February.
^^^I'm in again for the ESPN league.
Capuano signed with the Mets.
Oh boy. That's where pitchers go to die.
How about a money league, keep it at about 8 teams
^I'd do that too. I don't have a problem with 12 teams if you can find that many willing to pay. It might be difficult, though. I personally like having to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find those key contributors. I think the amount of effort put forth last year was much better than the year before. The year before a few teams quit early and I can't stand that. I guess if it's a money league, feel free to quit!
I'm in again if the entry fee is small. I had fun in last year's league and was active throughout.
it might be tough coordinating a money league with 12 people whose only means of contact is PSD. I could see some issues with payment, but if we can work something out i'm in for sure. I think for the most part every team but 1 maybe was competitive throughout the season. I also hate when people drop out in July or when they start falling out of contention but the league does seem to be improving.
I saw an interesting tid bit of good news today and I'm not sure how it had slipped by without me hearing about it. Without dragging this post of epic good news for too long I present to you the best news of the 2010-2011 off season....
Anthony Witrado has left the Journal Sentinel for The Sporting News.
Way to move from a place with really good local sports coverage to the bottom feeder of sports news. Someone higher up left JS a while back for SN so it's basically a buddy thing I'm sure.