After surprising the entire league and finishing second in the NL Central with an 86-76 record, the Milwaukee Brewers still missed the playoffs. But, determined for more, they had some work to do. Let\’s take a look at what they did this offseason.
Notable additions: OF Christian Yelich, CF Lorenzo Cain, RHP Jhoulys Chacin, RHP Matt Albers, RHP Yovani Gallardo, LHP Boone Logan, LHP Wade Miley, RHP Ernesto Frieri, RHP J.J. Hoover, 1B Ji-Man Choi.
Notable subtractions: OF Lewis Brinson, 2B Neil Walker, RHP Matt Garza, RHP Carlos Torres, RHP Jared Hughes, RHP Anthony Swarzak, RHP Wily Peralta, RHP Michael Blazek.
Sneaky Sleeper: Until the time of this writing, I didn\’t know about how good the year Chase Anderson had was. Anderson was third on the team in innings pitched, and led all starters with a 2.74 ERA. His 8.5 strikeout/9 isn\’t too bad either.
Incoming outbreak: A call-up sparked excellence for Josh Hader, who had a 2.08 ERA and 68 strikeouts in just 47.2 innings. At 23, that\’s pretty good. Expect Hader to really breakout this year.
Unsuspected slump: With the acquisition of Cain and Yelich, plus no one\’s departure, a big jam has come. Face-of-the-franchise LF Ryan Braun might move to 1B, signaling an end for Eric Thames\’ Milwaukee days. Despite an insane start, Thames finished with a subpar .247 batting average. The acquisitions aren\’t good for him, unless there is a trade.
Blue-chip Bopper: straight out of Miami, Christian Yelich goes here. Yelich had a setback in 2017, with a .282 batting average, and 18 homers. Though, at least his OBP is still a very good .369. Yelich is a star, and now their future with Brinson traded for him.
Astounding ace: Well, with Jimmy Nelson injured til June, I\’ll just list Corey Knebel. Knebel took on the closing job mid-season, and was my reliever of the year. Knebel had a 1.78 ERA and struck out 126 batters in 76 innings! That is a 14.9 K/9! Knebel was insane, for both Milwaukee and my fantasy team.
Here\’s the Brewers projected roster, starting with their lineup.
2B Jonathan Villar (S)
CF Lorenzo Cain (R)
LF Christian Yelich (L)
1B Ryan Braun (R)
3B Travis Shaw (L)
RF Domingo Santana (R)
C Stephen Vogt (L)
SS Orlando Arcia (R)
Here\’s their rotation.
RHP Zach Davies
RHP Chase Anderson
RHP Jhoulys Chacin
LHP Brent Suter
RHP Yovani Gallardo
Corey Knebel (R) is their closer, with Josh Hader (L), Jeremy Jeffres (R), Matt Albers (R), Oliver Drake (R), Junior Guerra (R), Brandon Woodruff (R) and Boone Logan (L) in the bullpen.
U Hernan Perez, (R), CF Keon Broxton (R), 1B Eric Thames (L), 2B Eric Sogard (L) and C Many Pina (R) are on the bench.
Finally, for my prediction, I think the Brewers, a rising team, will make the playoffs in 2018.