Top 5 Milwaukee Brewers Needs
Top 5 Milwaukee Brewers Needs
The Milwaukee Brewers finished the 2012 season third in the National League Central division with an 83-79 record. The fact Milwaukee ended four games above .500 is a win in itself considering how lost the season looked following the trade deadline. All the Brewers have to do is meet a few needs this off-season to get back on top.
Milwaukee had one of the top offensive production teams in all of baseball this season and there is no reason to believe that will change in 2013. With every single member of the starting lineup expected to return next year it looks like the Brewers will be able to compete with the best of them once again.
Obviously, it is hard to expect an MVP-caliber season from Ryan Braun year in and year out. Not to mention, Aramis Ramirez’s 105 RBIs and 50 doubles will be hard to repeat. However, other players had somewhat of a down year in 2012 which means if they pick up the slack then there will not be as much pressure on Milwaukee’s three and four hitters.
Injuries also played a huge part in the Brewers’ demise this season, which means if the team can stay healthy next year there is no telling how good they can be. Just imagine how much better Milwaukee would have been offensively if Jonathan Lucroy, Alex Gonzalez, and Corey Hart did not miss significant time with injuries. The following slides are five needs the Brewers must consider in the off-season to improve their squad.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.
#5 Offensive Center Fielder
Carlos Gomez had a productive year considering he shared time with two other players throughout the season. Gomez batted .260 with 19 home runs, 51 RBIs, and 37 stolen bases in 415 plate appearances. He looks to be the starter of the future for Milwaukee but it certainly would not hurt the Brewers to look for a better offensive center fielder. Since Gomez is one of the top defensive outfielders in the league, it would be wise for the team to keep him.
#4 Utility Infielder
Craig Counsell and Jerry Hairston Jr. played a valuable role in the past for the Brewers because of their ability to play multiple positions. Milwaukee could definitely use a utility infielder that can line up at second base, third base, and shortstop. Jeff Bianchi has shown the ability to play all three of these positions but it would not hurt to acquire a player with more experience and a better bat.
#3 Solid Middle Relievers
The No. 1 reason the Brewers are not in the postseason is due to their horrific bullpen. Milwaukee’s relievers have some of the worst statistics in the NL and completely let the team down in 2012. The Brewers must bolster the bullpen any way they can by finding some solid middle relief to get the ball from the starter to closer John Axford. In particular, Milwaukee needs guys that can record outs in the fifth, six, and seventh innings.
#2 Set-Up Man
Francisco Rodriguez was nowhere near the set-up man the Brewers were expecting when they brought him back for the 2012 season. K-Rod posted a 2-7 record with a 4.38 earned run average while blowing seven saves in 68 1/3 innings. The Brewers have money to spend and they should use it on a proven eighth inning reliever that can either hold a lead or keep the game within striking distance.
#1 Veteran Starting Pitcher
The Brewers already have a decent starting rotation in place for next season but one thing they could certainly use is another veteran starting pitcher. As I already stated, Milwaukee has the money to go out and acquire someone with serious talent. Yovani Gallardo is a talented pitcher with ace material but the Brewers need someone to be the No. 2 spot behind him. This should be Milwaukee’s biggest concern, as they cannot rely solely on young arms to get the job done.