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5 Reasons Why Milwaukee Brewers Will Miss The Playoffs

5 Reasons Why Milwaukee Brewers Will Miss The Playoffs

Ryan Braun Milwaukee Brewers
Chalres LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers have enough talent to make noise in the NL in 2014, but they also have some big what-ifs that could hold them back. As I wrote about earlier this year, the Brewers have the largest gap in MLB between their potential peak and valley. If Milwaukee falls short of the postseason, these five things will be the reason.

5. Poor Baserunning

Carlos Gomez Milwaukee Brewers
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5. Poor Baserunning

Carlos Gomez Milwaukee Brewers
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Teams can negate their own power by making foolish decisions on the basepaths, costing the club outs and big innings. Under Ron Roenicke, the Brewers have made the most outs on the bases in the NL. Continuing this trend will limit the impact of their home runs and put added pressure on the pitchers.

4. Unproven Bullpen

Jim Henderson Milwaukee Brewers
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4. Unproven Bullpen

Jim Henderson Milwaukee Brewers
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Jim Henderson enters as the full-time closer for the first time. Brandon Kintzler will be relied upon in the seventh and eighth frames in high-leverage spots. Both guys have had success in small samples, though they haven't had a chance to prove it long-term. K-Rod is there to help, but wins will hinge on the other two.

3. More Injuries

Aramis Ramirez Milwaukee Brewers
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3. More Injuries

Aramis Ramirez Milwaukee Brewers
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The Brewers lost a ton of playing time to injuries last season and the risk exists in 2014 as well. Both in the rotation and in the lineup, a number of key players have been known to get banged up. The five biggest concerns, whether due to age or history, are Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Braun, Matt Garza, Kyle Lohse and Marco Estrada.

2. Infield Defense

Rickie Weeks Milwaukee Brewers
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2. Infield Defense

Rickie Weeks Milwaukee Brewers
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Rickie Weeks is awful at second base and Scooter Gennett would only be average at best. Ramirez's range is extremely limited and his throws from third occasionally sail. Then there's first base where Lyle Overbay is solid, but shouldn't be the starter. Mark Reynolds is a below-average fielder, but that's leaps and bounds better than Juan Francisco. Either way, three-fourths of the infield are less-than-ideal defenders, which is an issue.

1. Wily Peralta and Marco Estrada

Wily Peralta Milwaukee Brewers
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1. Wily Peralta and Marco Estrada

Wily Peralta
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The Brewers' strength in the rotation lies in their depth from one through five. That means Peralta must continue to develop and cash in on his phenomenal stuff. Estrada has been great in stretches, too, but he also gets knocked around thanks to the long ball. They haven't turned that corner yet, and if they struggle to progress, the top three can't carry the rest of the club to the playoffs.