I used to be biggest loser fat. Now I am just kind of fat but working on it. I ran my only 5K this summer. It was pretty rough but it happened. My awesome little sister is running the Madison Marathon tomorrow. It is her first and I am so excited for her. I can’t believe she can do it while at the same time I am positive she will. That young lady is as driven as they come. Very proud.
This has been said all over the place but the NL Central is a brutal division to be in. Four teams could reasonably win it next year. If I had to predict right now I would do so in this order. Reds, Cards, Brewers and Pirates. I am not buying the Pirates based on the eye test. Some of the numbers and the quality of farm system suggest that is a stupid statement but we will have to wait and see.
I think the Reds are ridiculously talented and finally fired that managing buffoon Dusty Baker. The Cardinals are obviously well off in all categories of measure. The Brewers would need great luck to pull it off but they obviously have talent.
The Cubs are two years away from being in the mix and they have the right people rowing the oars. Some of their farm system is insane. Javier Baez who is currently a SS but will likely be a major league 2B has as much potential as any minor league player I have studied and watched. If he can play 2B enough to stay there he will soon set the standard for power at that position. I will discuss each farm soon. For now lets just say this. The Brewers farm has improved in recent years. However, they are at the bottom of the division and not in spitting distance of the top.
Without an in-depth comparison I would say they rank Cards, Pirates, Cubs, Reds and Brewers. The Reds may be higher but the hunch is that is how they will rank out in my eyes. The Cubs only rank #2 for lack of pitching prospects of merit. The offensive side is sickening really.
ESPN has become so bad I can’t watch it any more. They used to blend entertainment with sports with creative broadcasting. I loved it back in the Dan Patrick Keith Olbermann days. Now it is just mostly crap. Probably it is mostly that the people doing it now do not have the same wit and it is now a contest of who is going to lite their hair on fire first. I get my TV baseball information from the MLB network. So far I only avoid Kevin Millar and his non stop yelling and screaming. He is the white Stephen A. Smith.
Some reasonable journalists were discussing the new managers being hired. To paraphrase what I think they are saying is the managers are now basically the GM’s puppet. The computer spits out the profiles and the managers main focus is to manage the clubhouse personalities.
I am cool with that. I do not care that much about the manager unless they are obviously bad. I suspect that with Ron Roenicke he manages to a high degree based on scouting reports and what the computer says to do. the thing is it seems that culture came with him from his days with the Angels. makes it even better as it seems those philosophies would work best when the guy pushing the buttons believes in those buttons.
MLBTR predicts the top 50 FA signings. They have # 39 Corey hart and # 43 Paul Maholm going to the Brewers. I suppose hart could happen but I think it is less than 50/50. I suspect they will move on from him is my guess. I do not see the Maholm connection at all. Soft tosser with mixed results. Usually Doug goes for power at some level and Maholm is not that.
Spit-balling: James Loney could make sense if the Brewers do not acquire a 1B for Aoki. He does not have the power that the “smart people” look for at the corner. However he is a decent bat to slip in with the already there power and a real good defender. I like him a lot at the right price. Maybe like 1 year at $4-5M……….Toss in Jesse Crain to help maintain the pen. He had a great year but is coming off an injury at the end. Obviously it wil depend on how much it is going to cost.
1- Aoki RF 2-Segura SS 3- Braun LF 4- Ramirez 3B 5- Lucroy 6- Gold Glove Winner Carlos Gomez CF 7-Weeks/Gennett 8-Francisco
Pitching Staff: 1-Gallardo 2- Lohse 3- Estrada 4- Peralta 5- Thornburg ………..Jimmy Nelson and Johnny Hellweg would be #6 and #7 right now.
Back end of the Pen: Henderson, Kintzler and Bradenhop with Blazek as a wild card.
Obviously things are going to change. I suspect Aoki to be dealt to open up a move to RF for Braun. Khris Davis will slide into the every day role in LF. I will be giving it some thought and predict some major changes soon…………if any look possible.
The Brewers took the season off from being competitive. So, I took off from posting stuff about them. The truth is I had a lot of stuff going on and I lost interest in talking about them. With renewed hope for the new season I return. Same rules. If you are looking for great sentence structure and grammar. Move along. If you want thoughts on the Brewers and to find out what is going on. You may dig it here on occasion. I suspect i will have more minor league content than before as I seem to have grown into being somewhat of a minor league nerd. I love the hot stove season. This one for the Brewers should be pretty compelling I would think.
1. Norichika Aoki (L) RF
2. Rickie Weeks (R) 2B
3. Ryan Braun (R) LF
4. Jonathan Lucroy (R) C
5. Alex Gonzalez (R) 3B
6. Carlos Gomez (R) CF
7. Jean Segura (R) SS
8. Yuniesky Betancourt (R) 1B
9. Wily Peralta (R) P
1. David DeJesus (L) CF
2. Starlin Castro (R) SS
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Alfonso Soriano (R) LF
5. Nate Schierholtz (L) RF
6. Welington Castillo (R) C
7. Luis Valbuena (L) 3B
8. Brent Lillibridge (R) 2B
9. Travis Wood (R) P
No such thing as a must win this time of year. However, please beat these bozo’s. Thanks.
There is no way I would ever lose my mind over the direction of the Brewers this early in the season. It is a little depressing considering the position they are in.
The thing is other than starting pitching there isn’t anything to get mad at. The relief pitching issues are somewhat fluky past the Axford deal. The three top power bats are gone right now. It is tough to evaluate as a result.
Looking at a lineup that has Alex Gonzalez as the clean up guy would be the depressing part. I do not know who else you would put there given the circumstance but if it was my choice it would not be him. Maybe Khris Davis?
It is obvious Davis can hit but reports that he is below average defensively are reports that are being polite. He has the instinct of a drunken sailor and the arm of a girl scout.
Which reminds me……those thin mints are yummy.