NL Central Preview: Milwaukee Brewers

Ryan GaydosSenior Analyst IMarch 24, 2009

MARYVALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 19: Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers poses during photo day at the Brewers spring training complex on February 19, 2009 in Maryvale, Arizona. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Slim at pitching, the Milwaukee Brewers might slip to fourth this year pending on whether or not their hitting will pick it up. Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy, and company will the lead the offensive power house but the Brewers will be without Ben Sheets. They could not resign him nor could they get C.C. Sabathia back as he left to go east.

The Brewers will have to turn to new ace Yovanni Gallardo and rookie Manny Parra. With the loss of Eric Gagne, the Brewers will rely on Carlos Villanueva, who had one save last year, to fill in for the closer duty.

Keep an eye on: Matt Gamel, 3b

If Bill Hall starts slipping at third base, expect to see Matt Gamel come in. Gamel is a rookie and hit 19 homers and batted in 96 runs in Double-A Huntsville last year.

Projected Lineup
1. Rickie Weeks, 2b
2. J.J. Hardy, ss
3. Ryan Braun, lf
4. Prince Fielder, 1b
5. Corey Hart, rf
6. Bill Hall, 3b
7. Mike Cameron, cf
8. Jason Kendall, c

Projected Pitching Staff
1. Yovanni Gallardo rhp
2. Jeff Suppan, rhp
3. Manny Parra, lhp
4. Dave Bush, rhp
5. Seth McClung, rhp

Projected Bullpen
Carlos Villanueva
David Riske
Jorge Julio
Tim Dillard
Todd Coffey
Mitch Stetter

Top Prospects
1. Alcides Escobar, ss
2. Jeremy Jeffress, rhp
3. Matt Gamel, 3b
4. Brett Lawrie, c
5. Jon Lucroy, c