By Michael Terrill @MichaelTerrill on March 20, 2014
The Milwaukee Brewers have not yet announced what the 2014 MLB Opening Day lineup will look like. That certainly makes sense considering there is still a week and a half until the first day of the season. Regardless, I’ve decided to analyze what I believe will be Milwaukee’s opening day lineup when they take on the Atlanta Braves on March 31.
Jean Segura may be struggling in spring training, but that shouldn’t have any effect on Milwaukee’s decision to put him in the leadoff spot. Segura’s ability to consistently get on base and steal bases makes him a prime candidate for the job. He has the ability and potential to be the best leadoff hitter in franchise history.
Carlos Gomez showed the Brewers last season what he’s capable of and it was a welcomed sight. Gomez has power, can hit for average and is one of the fastest players in the big leagues. He’s just entering his prime now, which means there’s still plenty of upside. Gomez is considered the best in the business in center field, but what the Brewers would really like to see is him continue his progression at the plate.
Ryan Braun is crushing it in spring training, which is something the team expects to continue once the regular season begins. The slugger is motivated to put forth the best performance of his career after he was suspended for half of the 2013 season. The boo birds and hurtful words uttered by opposing fans will only make Braun want to play even better. I would be shocked if we didn’t see a MVP-caliber season from him.
The Brewers are hopeful that Aramis Ramirez will be able to stay healthy because they know what the team’s capable of if he can. A tremendous amount of power in the cleanup spot will only make Segura, Gomez and Braun that much better, which could be very dangerous for Milwaukee’s opponents. The good news is Ramirez looks very good in spring training, which has the team excited about the possibilities.
Jonathan Lucroy is really struggling in spring training, but that shouldn’t have fans too worried. The fact is Lucroy is one of the best offensive catchers in the National League. Even better is that he still has a lot of room to grow at the plate. Expect Lucroy to provide quality protection for Braun and Ramirez once the season starts.
The first base competition is still very much alive, but I believe it will be Mark Reynolds who will earn the starting nod on opening day. Even though Juan Francisco is playing better than Reynolds is in spring training, Reynolds is someone Milwaukee believes will do wonders at Miller Park. At this point, it would be a surprise if first base weren’t platooned, especially if both players continue to hit a lot of home runs.
There are high hopes for Khris Davis, who showed enough promise last season for the Brewers to trade Norichika Aoki and move Braun from left to right field. Davis looks great in spring training as his power numbers have given Milwaukee reason to believe he could be a solid asset on offense going forward. However, the Brewers don’t want to put too much pressure on Davis in the early going, which is why they will have him bat seventh.
Some believe Scooter Gennett will win the second base job, but I believe the Brewers will stick with Rickie Weeks. Him playing better in spring training will have a lot to do with it. Not to mention, his veteran presence could be beneficial in times of need. The fact that the competition is stiff and Weeks is in a contract year could be the very reason why he puts forth best the season of his career. Wishful thinking perhaps, but it could happen.
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