TMS MLB Preview 2009: Milwaukee Brewers

All through March, Thunder Matt's Saloon will be previewing each Major League team. We'll give you the ins and outs of the upcoming 2009 season, how each team will do, and some other useless crap you'll wish you had never read.

MILWAUKEE BREWERS


2008 Season: 90 - 72 (2nd Place in NL Central, Wild Card)

SO LONG:
3B Russell Branyan, 2B Ray Durham, OF Gabe Kapler, P Guillermo Mota, P CC Sabathia, P Ben Sheets, P Brian Shouse, P Salomon Torres (retired)

WELCOME: P Trevor Hoffman, P Jorge Julio, P Braden Looper, OF Trot Nixon

PROJECTED LINEUP
1. Rickie Weeks 2B
2. J.J. Hardy SS
3. Ryan Braun LF
4. Prince Fielder 1B
5. Corey Hart RF
6. Mike Cameron CF
7. Bill Hall 3B
8. Jason Kendall C

Starting Rotation: Yovani Gallardo, Manny Parra, Jeff Suppan, Dave Bush, Braden Looper, Seth McClung
Setup: Jorge Julio, Carlos Villanueva
Closer: Trevor Hoffman

The Brew Crew had a helluva year in 2008. Things looked bleak when Yovani Gallardo went down early, but that was equalized when the remaining overachieving staff got CC Sabathia. This year, not so much. Gone is the workhorse, Sabathia and the oft-injured, but effective Ben Sheets. Gallardo has shown promise in his brief MLB tenure, but has to be a question mark after recovering from surgery. The remaining staff is comprised of journeyman, .500 pitchers - not something you want when pitching in a band box.

There's no question that The Brew Crew will score some runs. It's a stacked lineup with the exception of Jason "Groundball" Kendall. Expect to see them win most of the games by outslugging the competition. With the NL Central being bad, the Brewers could get enough wins to repeat as the Wild Card winner, but unless some acquisitions are made to bolster the starting staff, Milwaukee isn't winning anything in the post season.

PREASEASON AWARDS
Mr. Sexy Time: Ryan Braun is a beast. 2008 was his first full year in the Majors and he belted 37 homers and had 107 RBI, was an All-Star, and ended up 3rd in the MVP voting. He certainly takes advantage of playing in hitter-friendly Miller Park, hitting 24 homers and keeping Benny The Brewer a busy guy.

Rob Deer All-or-Nothing Award:
Mike Cameron. In 2008 he had 25 home runs in 444 at bats. He also had 142 strikeouts.

What a Munch!:
Jason Kendall = Bad defensive catcher + below average hitter. Does he even call a good game? I have no idea. What, was Scott Servais not available?

For More Reading
Brew Crew Ball
Brewers Bar
Al's Ramblings

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