It's been a long, difficult and often perplexing offseason for the Milwaukee Brewers and their fanbase. But if recent indications prove valid, things may take a turn for the worse.
Last month, we learned from a report leaked by ESPN that Brewers left fielder and recently named 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun had reportedly tested positive for either a performance enhancing drug and/or banned substance during Milwaukee's historic playoff run last October. Major League Baseball subsequently gave Braun a 50-game suspension for his actions, and he is currently in the appeal process.
Many Brewers fans remained optimistic regarding the future of their beloved left fielder, however, Braun's appeal to the league doesn't seem likely to be overturned, as Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently wrote.
Should Braun not be in Milwaukee's lineup on opening day against the St. Louis Cardinals, it would not only severely reshuffle manager Ron Roenicke's starting lineup, but it would prove detrimental to the Brewers' chances at repeating as NL Central champs in 2012.
That said, let's take a look at what Roenicke's opening day starting lineup should look like without Braun.