ESPN's Bottom Line Widget

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2013 Milwaukee Brewers: 3 Bold Predictions

1. Yovani Gallardo Will Win 20 Games

Ever since Yovani Gallardo became the Brewers' ace in 2009, he has been the most underrated pitcher in baseball.  Since 2009 he has averaged almost 32 starts a season with 15 wins, 203 strike-outs, and an ERA ranging from 3.52-3.84.  He has also been able to remain healthy throughout his young six year career besides a freak ACL injury in 2008.  Yovani Gallardo is just entering the prime of his career and in order for the Brewers to be successful this season, he has to be a consistent pitcher a top the Brewers rotation.  This will finally be Gallardo's break out season, and expect him to win 20 games for the very competitive Milwaukee Brewers.  

2. Ryan Braun Will Win the N.L. MVP Award

Ryan Braun has been the best player in baseball over the last two seasons, and this season he will continue to produce at a high level.  Over the past two seasons he has destroyed the ball, averaging 37 home runs, 112 RBIs, and an average well over .300.  If it was not for all of the off the field drama, that happened before last season, Ryan Braun would have been the MVP for the second consecutive season.  Ryan Braun will have another outstanding season for the Brewers, and if he is able to repeat the success he has had over the past two seasons, he will be the National League MVP.

3. Milwaukee Brewers Will Make the Playoffs

Throughout the last decade the Brewers have struggled to develop young pitching besides, Ben Sheets and Yovani Gallardo.  This season the Brewers have decided to go with a younger and inexperience pitching rotation behind Gallardo, and this decision by Doug Melvin, has led to a lot of criticism from baseball fans.  This is one of the smartest decisions Melvin has made in his tenure as Brewers GM because instead of over paying for veteran hurlers, they are allowing their highly touted pitching prospects to develop.

Instead of over paying for starting pitching, the Brewers have used the money to revamp their awful bullpen from last season, with the acquisitions of Burke Badenhop, Michael Gonzalez, and Tom Gorzelanny.  Their bullpen was so bad last season, that they had 29 blown saves in 73 opportunities, with a 4.66 ERA, which was the worst in the majors.  If the Brewers bullpen would have converted half of those blown saves, they would have made the playoffs for a second consecutive season.

With a young, but talented starting rotation, a revamped bullpen, and the best offense in the National League expect the Brewers to surprise everyone and win one of the National League Wild Cards.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Milwaukee Bucks Acquire J.J. Redick

Fear the Deer!  The Milwaukee Bucks are the biggest winner at the NBA Trade Deadline after they acquired sharp shooter J.J. Redick in a six player deal.  J.J. Redick is a dangerous three point shooter and he gives the Bucks, along with Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, one of the best backcourts in the NBA.

The Bucks traded away Doron Lamb, Beno Udrih, and Tobias Harris, three expendable players who have not had a significant role with the Bucks this season.  With the acquisition of Redick, the Bucks now have a legitimate scorer (15.1 PPG and 45% field goal shooter) at the shooting guard position, and a guard who plays well off the ball.  Besides his great ability to shoot the ball, Redick is also an underrated distributer averaging 4.4 assists a game this season and a solid defender.  

With the Bucks currently holding on to the eighth playoff seed in the Eastern Conference, this trade will make the Bucks significantly better, and improve their playoff spot.  The Bucks will be able to move up in the playoff standings, and expect them to be the number five seed in the Eastern Conference by the end of the season.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Chris Narveson vs. Mark Rogers for the 5th Spot in the Brewers Starting Rotation

With the Milwaukee Brewers' pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training in less than a week, the most compelling position battle will be for the fifth spot in the Brewers starting rotation.  Yovani Gallardo, Marco Estrada, and Mike Fiers are already penciled in the Brewers pitching rotation, with highly regarded pitching prospect Wily Peralta expected to be the number four starter.  This leaves Mark Rogers and Chris Narveson left to battle for the number five spot.  Both of these pitchers have many things to like about them, with only a few things that could hurt their chances at winning the fifth spot in the Brewers rotation.

First, Chris Narveson has more experience than Mark Rogers at pitching in the majors.  He has not been overly impressive in his career with a 4.67 ERA in 394 2/3 innings.  He does struggle with his command at times, but even with his struggles, he has a respectable strikeouts per nine innings ratio of 7.4 in his career.  Narveson is also coming off of a season where he only made two starts due to shoulder injury to his pitching arm, and when he did pitch, he struggled mightily having a 7.00 ERA in nine innings.  Chris Narveson isn't a bad option for the Brewers as their number five starter because of his experience, but he is coming off of an injury that could hurt his chances of winning the fifth spot in the rotation.

Mark Rogers, once the highly touted pitching prospect who the Brewers drafted fifth overall out of high school in 2004, is finally trying to become a fixture in the Brewers starting rotation this spring training.  Mark Rogers has had a taste of the major leagues in 2010 and 2012 when the Brewers called him up in September, but due to multiple injures over his career, he hasn't developed into the ace the Brewers always envisioned him being.  In his limited time in the major leagues, Rogers has shown glimpses of being an excellent pitcher, with a 3.49 ERA in 49 innings.  He has also shown great control with only walking 17 batters, while striking out 52 batters in those 49 innings.  Mark Rogers definitely has more potential and talent than Narveson, but his lack of experience could cost Rogers a spot in the starting rotation.

One of these pitchers will make the starting rotation while the other pitcher will either be sent to the bullpen, or will be pitching for a different team on Opening Day because both of these players are out of minor league options.  Mark Rogers will be the number five starter for the Brewers because he is overall a better pitcher with more potential than Narveson, and the Brewers can not afford to let a talented arm like Rogers sit in the bullpen or on another team.