2011 Milwaukee Brewers Preview
Is it really only six weeks until spring training? Hard to believe since we can see our breath here in the frozen tundra but it’s true! Could the Packers win in the Super Bowl bring luck to the Brewers? Sure, but the Milwaukee Brewers don’t need luck, they already have what it takes to lead the National League Central this year.
New blood combined with experience on the pitching front is one of the best things to look forward to this year with the Milwaukee Brewers. They picked up Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum in the off-season, which will only make the current pitching staff that much better. Randy Wolf and Yovani Gallardo have proven to be solid, and with the addition of Marcum and Greinke (who will start Opening Day when the Brew Crew plays the Reds) the Brewers will have a more balanced team and won’t need to rely so much on offense.
Ken Macha led the team to the top three two years in a row, finishing 80-82 and 77-85. Good, but not good enough. Macha seemed a nice enough guy, but the Brewers had high expectations for the team. Are those expectations realistic in the short term? It remains to be seen. Coaching changes can cause a temporary lift in team morale and production, but for the long term? It is a question mark and weakness at this point. Also, if Corey Hart can remain healthy, he will be an absolute strength for the team.
The last time I felt this good about a Brewer’s team? I was in high school. That was in 1982 when they won the division. The Brewers have everything in place to make it to the World Series. With 182 home runs last year they proved they can hit, and not just with a few players but with the bulk of the team. Prince Fielder had 32 home runs in an otherwise horrible season, and Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun each had at least 20 homers.
Their hitting ability will remain strong, and with the additions to the pitching staff they are more well-rounded as a team than I’ve seen in a long time. I think the changes made in the off-season are enough to add at least 15 more wins to the year.
Prediction: 1st in NL Central.