Melvin Promises to Be More Active

Jeff BreenContributor IJanuary 5, 2009

After spending time with family on a cruise in the Caribbean, Brewers GM Doug Melvin returned this past weekend with one clear message.

"We will be more active now."  And with good reason.  As of today, there is only 39 days until pitchers and catchers report for the start of spring training.

Many writers including Brewer analyst Adam McCalvy agree that the Brewers offensively are in good shape, but the pitching remains an issue.  When asked about the closer situation, Melvin said that newcomer Jorge Julio is the front runner, even though he hasn't closed since 2004.  Carlos Villenueva is the other choice, but he has never closed.

A clear shot in the dark, but as Melvin said, "We have a staff that we can go and play with."  That staff can play, but at a playoff contender level, that's another story.  At least Melvin is aware of the club's needs.

Going back, 39 days are left to the start of Spring Training.  Is there a better time of the year?

The Brewers will be heading back to their home away from home Maryvale, Arizona.  This year will be full of changes, mainly with the scheduling.  The Cactus League will be welcoming the addition of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians. 

The Brewers will be facing both clubs within the first two weeks of camp and will also have the chance to face the Australian team that will be competing in the World Baseball Classic.  The Brewers will rap up their spring with a two game set against the Dodgers in Los Angeles before heading south to face the Giants on opening day.

This years spring promises to be a challenging one.  Many questions will be answered by the time the season starts.  Hopefully a closer will emerge from the current group or one will have been picked up in the hot stove.

So, with that being said, "Let the countdown begin!"