Sunday, March 19, 2017

Milwaukee Brewers 2017 season preview

With a record of 73-89, the Milwaukee Brewers finished 4th in the NL Central, 30.5 GB (the Chicago Cubs were really good) of the first place Cubs. At the 2016 trade deadline, the Brewers dealt star catcher Jonathan Lucroy to Texas, leaving LF Ryan Braun as the only big star on the team. As rebuilders, GM David Stearns aimed to make some moves in the offseason. Let's look at what Stearns did.

         Key additions: 1B Eric Thames, C Jett Bandy, 3B Travis Shaw, RPs Neftali Feliz, Tommy Milone, Joba Chamberlain, 1B Jesus Aguilar, 2B Eric Sogard, SS Ivan Dejesus.
         Key subtractions: 1B Chris Carter, RPs Tyler Thornburg, Blaine Boyer, C Martin Maldonado, 2B Jake Elmore.

         Biggest move: In his major league career, he has 21 HRs in 633 ABs, not so great. He went to Korea, and hit 125 HRs in 1382 ABs. Eric Thames is trying to make his way back to the majors successfully, and signing a 3 year, $15 million deal is a nice prove-it deal for him.
         X-factor: Jimmy Nelson will most likely be their ace in 2017, although his lowest ERA in a season is 4.11, not as good as other aces. If Nelson can have an ERA under 4.00 in 2017, he can really help out the team.
         Biggest bounce back: Many expected Taylor Jungmann to breakout in 2016. Well, he only pitched 26.2 MLB innings, and had an ERA of 7.76 in that time. He was even worse in AAA, with an ERA of 9.87 in 31 IP. He was way better in AA, with an ERA of 2.51 in 75.1 IP. He'll compete for a MLB rotation spot with Chase Anderson and Matt Garza, a d 2017 will be a big season for Jungmann to save his career.
         Biggest breakout: In 2016, C Jett Bandy was ok for the Los Angeles Angels, with an average of .234 and 8 HRs in 209 ABs. An offseason trade to the Milwaukee Brewers gives him a starting job for the entire season. Bandy can hit double digit HRs in 400+ ABs in 2017.
         Guaranteed star: After a couple bad seasons, Ryan Braun finally hit 30 HRs. He once hit 41 HRs, and on this weak Brewers team, Braun is definitely their top player.
         The Brewers lineup should look like this.

1. SS: Jonathan Villar
2. 2B: Hernan Perez
3. LF: Ryan Braun
4. 1B: Eric Thames
5. 3B: Travis Shaw
6. RF: Domingo Santana
7. CF: Keon Broxton
8. C: Jett Bandy
9. Pitcher
            Their rotation will probably be this.

1. Jimmy Nelson
2. Wily Peralta
3. Zach Davies
4. Junior Guerra
5. Taylor Jungmann

             2B Scooter Gennett, CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis and C Andrew Susac will be on the bench.
             Corey Knebel will be their closer, with Neftali Feliz and Michael Blazek setting him up.

             Finally, for my prediction, I think the Milwaukee Brewers will once again be at the bottom of the MLB in 2017.

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