The Milwaukee Brewers have had a number of seasons as "cellar dwellers." From 2001-2006, their average record was 69.17 wins and 92.67 losses.
Those numbers are hard to comprehend, seeing how the Brew Crew has turned its play around. The Brewers are a team reminiscent of the Tampa Bay Rays; taking themselves out of the divisional cellar with young talent in a small market.
Even with their recent success, the Brewers have had more than their share of disappointing players. This article focuses on the most disappointing single-season performances by Brewers players.
10. Do you remember Junior Spivey, the second baseman during 2004 and 2005? You may not remember him due to his low game totals. In his two seasons, Spivey played in only 108 games, and in 2005, he appeared in only 49.
That year, Spivey hit only .236 with five homers and 17 RBI. He stole only 12 bases as a Brewer.
9. Royce Clayton was the everyday shortstop in 2003. You may remember him for his dreadlocks or for his lackluster play.The Brewers didn't have much backup at that position, and Clayton hit only .228 with 11 dingers and 39 RBI.
When a starting shortstop only hits .228 in 146 games, it has to be considered a dissapointing season. Clayton just didn't make the cut in Milwaukee and was a true disappointment.
8. Bill Hall had a career year in 2006 for the Brew Crew. He hit .270 with 35 home runs and 85 RBI as a utility man. But in 2007, he failed to meet expectations.
Just being signed to a four-year, $24 million contract, Hall struggled in his adjustment to a new position. He batted a disappointing .254 with only 14 home runs and 63 RBI while battling through injuries. He struck out 112 times and his fielding percentage was only .971.
7. The Brewers were hoping to build on to their 81-81 record in 2005. For 2006 to be successful, they needed Ben Sheets and the other starters to have good years. But Big Ben was bitten by the injury bug and only appeared in 17 games, all starts.
Sheets won only six games while losing seven. Once again, Sheets was nagged by injuries and that affected his play.
6. Luis Vizcaino was expected to be a rock in the Brewers bullpen in 2003. But he was anything but a rock. "Lose the Lead Luis" (as my mother called him) held a 6.34 ERA and was 0-6 in save opportunities. Those are six games they could have won. Vizcaino simply did not help out the Brewers that season.
5. Rickie Weeks has been called a "late bloomer" by former manager Ned Yost. Brewer fans bought this for a little while, but Rickie never bloomed. In 2007, frustration with the young second baseman mounted.
Weeks was supposed to be the All-Star leadoff hitter in the Brewers lineup. In 2007, he was the exact opposite of that, hitting only .235 in a mere 118 games. A wrist injury suffered late in the season by Weeks hurt the Brewers post-season chances. But hitting .235 as a leadoff man won't help, either.
4. You will definetely have to reach back in your memory for this disappointment. Do you recall a minor league star named Ben Hendrickson? You may not remember him, but he sure was a disappointment.
The right-hander was a star in the minor leagues and was supposed to be the next Ben Sheets in the Brewers rotation. But he never flourished in the bigs, appearing in 14 games, 12 starts, in two seasons. His record was a terrible 1-10 and his ERA was 7.41. In 2004, Hendrickson went 1-8 with a 6.22 ERA. No wonder he has never made another appearance in an MLB game.
3. Glendon Rusch in 2003 was the perfect description of a terrible and disappointing season. He won 10 games for a Brewers team that won only 56 all year in 2002 and was hoping to be one of the three top starters in 2003.
This didn't happen, as Glendon won only one game in 19 starts and 32 total games while losing 12. His .077 winning percentage in the lowest of all players with at least ten decisions in franchise history. OUCH!
2. Chris Capuano nearly won 20 games in 2005. He was quieter in 2006 but started off 2007 with a bang. He won his first five games and held a 3.21 ERA in April. Nobody expected what was to come of Capuano.
Capuano blew up completely, losing game after game until the streak reached 12 losses in a row. The team lost almost all of the games he pitched in. That streak peaked at 19 losses. Capuano did not win another game, finishing 5-12 with a 5.10 ERA.
1. "Now entering the game for the Brewers is Derrick Turnbow." This phrase was music to Brewers fans' ears during 2005. Turnbow was an All-Star and boasted a 1.74 ERA with 39 saves. But in 2006, this was torture to Brewers fans' ears and music to everyone else.
He struggled mightily in 2006, losing the closing role to Francisco Cordero later in the year. He went 4-9 with a 6.87 ERA and blew eight out of 32 save chances. His second half was absolutely terrible, going 0-5 with a 11.29 ERA. His innings were limited to 18.1.
There are the ten biggest single-season disappointments in recent Brewers history. Can the Brew Crew go two consecutive seasons without a player making the list? We'll have to watch closely to find out.