The Brewers of 2015 are basically the Brewers of 2014 on paper, outside of Adam Lind now manning first base instead of Mark Reynolds. Also, Francisco Rodriguez is currently a free-agent. A lot can change though, for better or for worse, and the Brewers weren’t happy to lose their division crown and playoff spot to the St. Louis Cardinals in September.
Then again, some think one season was all the Brewers had, and now they’ll be falling back to being a middle of the pack team. It certainly seems as if there isn’t a big sense of urgency in Milwaukee given how the Cubs and Cardinals have improved themselves and all the Brewers have done is add Adam Lind.
No offense to Adam Lind, but one guy who can hit .300 or around it and only give a team 15-20 homers doesn’t compare to the addition of Lester for the Cubs or Heyward and Walden to the Cardinals.
However, as I said, the Brewers do have almost the same team from 2014, so if they can start hot again while the other teams are adjusting, (presumably the Cubs ), or some player’s health isn’t quite 100% yet (Wainwright, Wacha), the Brewers might be able to stick around the division race at least for the first half.
Carlos Gomez still has a ton of upside even after batting .282 and putting up an OPS of .821, all while launching 23 long balls in 2014, and maybe Ryan Braun can become a little more like his old self. Aramis Ramirez is always dangerous (.286 BA, 83 RBI in 2014) and Scooter Gennett was a nice surprise last year as well (.291 BA, .305 OBP). Not to mention, Jonathan Lucroy was arguably the best catcher in the league last season. The Brewers could take advantage of the rest of the division, and media, falling asleep on them in the NL Central in 2015, so watch out.
-Jake Hasan, BBE Correspondent