The season is rapidly approaching for the Milwaukee Brewers and there is still a number of concerns that come to mind that include the bullpen, starting pitching, and the bullpen....did I mention the bullpen?
This was, yet again, supposed to be the strength of the team coming in to spring training. Call him what you want, but Eric Gagne would be a welcomed addition if he were healthy. David Riske is another reliever that has a uncertainty surrounding him. Coming of shoulder surgery in the off-season, one would think that he would be ready to go. Not so much. He has struggled in his appearences up until Friday's game. He still has a ways to go until he returns to his KC level of play.
With Trevor Hoffman starting the season on the DL (which seems to be the case), Carlos Villanueva will most likely assume the closing duties in his absence. I like the idea of having a 2 inning reliever assuming closing duties. Especially with the weakened pen.
Mitch Stetter will be the left-handed specialist for the Crew this season. This role will have big shoes to fill, replacing Brian Shouse's duties from the last couple of seasons.
Starting pitching, I feel, will be ok. Hopefully Milwaukee can bring in a true ace or a number 2 early in to the season. Peavy would sure look swell in a Milwaukee uniform. If Milwaukee did go out and get one more pitcher, Looper would be the first to go to the bullpen. Unless there is some sort of pre-arranged agreement between Melvin and Braden. Yovanni Gallardo should be just fine as the #1 going in to the season. But will his youth and inexperience wear thin on him going in to the second half.
Milwaukee could start the season with this rotation and do just fine for a month or two. But come June or early July, they better have a true ace on their radar. Thankfully, Milwaukee has an platoon of prospects waiting to get dealt. This of course compromises their train of thought for the past 7 years...build from with-in. But it's time they took that step up.
-The Barrel Man logo is one of the best in baseball...or was the best. Everyone has a fetish with the ball & glove logo used by Milwaukee in the 80's. I like it too, but not as much as the Barrel Man. Journal-Sentinel had an interesting little piece about the history of the barrel man. Apparently he was crafted in 1901, when Milwaukee landed a pro league team in the city. So it's a surprise to me that this logo was created prior to the Milwaukee Brewers we know and love...70+ years prior.
The Brewers defeated the Athletics yesterday 4-2. JJ Hardy had another great game going 2 for 3, with a three-run homer. It's hard to imagine as this player being expendable.
Jeff Suppan has been pitching pretty well the past couple of outings. He went 7 innings, limiting the A's to one run and six hits. Soup also threw six scoreless innings (after the first).
On Friday, David Bush also had an impressive start allowing 4 runs (2 earned) and 9 hits. Bushy is now 3-0 in spring and has a 2.70 era.
The Algona Crop Giant, Brad Nelson (I made that one up while sober!) had a huge day, going yard once. He is now batting .392 in spring ball.