Picture courtesy of i2.wp.com
By Ross Sutton
Last season, the Brewers found a surprising amount of success as they finished the year with a 86-76 record, finishing second in the NL Central and missing out on the second National League wild card spot by just one game. Encouraged by this success, the Brewers were aggressive this offseason as they signed outfielder Lorenzo Cain to a 5-year, $80M contract. The Brewers also struck a deal with the Marlins to acquire outfielder Christian Yelich for Lewis Brinson, Monte Harrison, Isan Diaz, and Jordan Yamamoto. Milwaukee also signed relievers Boone Logan and Matt Albers to further solidify their bullpen that performed well last season. Starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin will also join the Brew Crew as a back of the rotation option. The Brewers chose not to re-sign Neil Walker, Anthony Swarzak, and Carlos Torres who signed with the Yankees, Mets, and Indians, respectively. The Brewers suffered an important loss when pitcher Jimmy Nelson hurt his right rotator cuff and labrum in September of last season when sliding back into first base (another example of why the NL should adopt the DH rule). Nelson experienced a breakout year in 2017 as he finished with a 12-6 record and a 3.49 ERA in 29 starts and is expected to rejoin the rotation in June.
Many expect the Brewers to be even better in 2018, as they seem to have improved this offseason. The best part of this Brewers team is their offense, which features players such as Ryan Braun, Travis Shaw, Domingo Santana, Eric Thames, and as I mentioned earlier, Cain and Yelich. This offense should provide a lot of power for the Brew Crew and will likely be the backbone of this team. As the roster currently stands, I think the Brewers need to acquire a top of the line starting pitcher at some point in the season if they want to make the playoffs and possibly beat one of the National League’s top teams. That being said, I think the Brewers will have a good season yet again and will finish with a 89-73 record and will be in the hunt for one of the two wild card spots. I believe Milwaukee will make the playoffs if they can acquire a great starting pitcher, but if they do not, I think they will finish behind teams such as the Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Cardinals, or possibly even the Phillies or Mets.
All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com
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