MLB Milwaukee Brewers

Predicting the Milwaukee Brewers’ 2014 Starting Rotation

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Milwaukee Brewers' 2014 Starting Rotation

Milwaukee Brewers' Starting Rotation Predictions
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2014 spring training in full swing, the Milwaukee Brewers are excited to watch some of their position battle competitions get underway. Even though there will be plenty of focus on the battles for first and second base, there is still a competition many fans might have forgotten about.

The Brewers have a good idea of what the starting rotation will look like, but the real question will be what order those starters will appear in. Along with that, there is no guarantee for the fifth spot in the rotation, which means Milwaukee will allow an open competition among a few potential starters. Since the Brewers had a down season in 2013, several pitchers were given an opportunity to start and showcase their talent. For that reason, the Brewers are definitely not handing out the fifth spot without giving all of the contenders a legitimate opportunity.

Even though several ball clubs have a very good idea of what their starting rotation will look like already, the competition for the Brewers is something that should excite fans. Not only will the fans get to see exciting battles up and down the roster, but also they will get to see first-hand how competition makes the ball club better.

The organization is very confident about their chances in 2014. More importantly, they expect to field a winner. The only way to put the best product on the field is to push the players to the brink in spring training and watch the best emerge from the ashes. Check out the ensuing slideshow to see the prediction for Milwaukee’s starting rotation this season.

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5. Wily Peralta

Wily Peralta rotation
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

In my opinion, the fifth spot will come down to Wily Peralta and Tyler Thornburg. The Brewers are high on Peralta, especially since he only pitched his first full season in the majors last season. However, Thornburg emerged as a quality arm when he was given a chance to shine in 2013. For that reason, the competition for the fifth rotation spot will be fierce.

Personally, I believe Peralta will win the job and Thornburg will be placed in the bullpen. The Brewers are very confident that Peralta can be someone special, which is why they have no intentions of giving up on him quite yet. Obviously, the right-hander will have to show improvement in spring training for the confidence to continue. In order for that to happen, he will need to consistently find the strike zone and rack up the strikeouts in order to be effective.

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4. Marco Estrada

Marco Estrada rotation
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Marco Estrada is someone I believe is going to have a career year. The 30-year-old has steadily made significant progress over the past two years and should be set for a breakout season in 2014. At this point, he must decide to either take his game to the next level or force the Brewers to give up on him as a starter. Estrada isn’t going to have the same strikeout numbers as the other starters. However, he’s someone that eats up a lot of innings, which is something Milwaukee definitely needs.

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3. Matt Garza

Matt Garza rotation
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee’s big offseason acquisition has the potential to be a game changer. The hope is that Matt Garza’s NL Central magic rubs off on the Brewers and gives the team a season to remember. Garza is someone who could pitch lights out every fifth day. He also has the ability to disappoint, which is something Milwaukee simply can’t afford this season. For the most part, fans can expect a consistent pitcher who will do everything in his power to give the team a chance to win.

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2. Kyle Lohse

Kyle Lohse rotation
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the Brewers were uninspiring last season, Kyle Lohse proved to be worth every penny. In a down season, he stood above the rest and showed why he’s one of the more talented veterans in the game. The only hope is that he didn’t waste his solid effort in a season that was meaningless for Milwaukee. The Brewers need Lohse to come back even stronger in 2014 and show the team what winning is all about.

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1. Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo rotation
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Some fans may disagree with my prediction of Yovani Gallardo remaining in the ace role. The truth is the only way the Brewers take him out of that position is if he shows he can’t handle it in spring training. There’s no question Gallardo had a down year in 2013, on and off the mound. He posted career-low numbers and never could gather any momentum. As long as his poor performance stays in the past, Milwaukee should be thankful that it occurred in a season in which the team was out of the playoff race. Expect Gallardo to rebound and show the Brewers why he deserves to be called an ace.