Why the Brewers Still Need Much To Go Right if They Want To Reach the Postseason
With the signings of Randy Wolf and Doug Davis, the Brewers were able to restructure their starting pitching rotation and convert fans into believers again.
With the second earliest mark for selling one million tickets, the Brewers are riding high on the support from a fan base that has done miracles for principal owner Mark Attanasio in the past three seasons. And all of this during a global economic crisis.
But are fans really sold on the fact that the Brewers will have a better year and will remain in contention for longer than they did last season?
This remains to be seen, and it will require an effort from the Brewers organization that goes beyond improving the fan experience at Miller Park, introducing new discounts on tickets, or making the presence of the team more prominent around the entire state of Wisconsin.
It will require wins and a good production on the field by the Brewers.
The Brewers overpaid for Wolf, and they probably signed Davis at a steeper price than a pitcher of his caliber would command in years with a deeper free-agent class. But these moves were necessitated by the need for the Brewers to show that they would like to repay their fans and take risks.
I just hope that some gambles will not be as disastrous as some other recent signings have proven to be.
Wolf and Davis provide the Brewers with a fighting chance, but on a good rotation they would likely end up being the No. 3 and 4 starters, at best.
Add to that the fact that Yovani Gallardo had some ups and downs in 2009 and is still learning what it means to be the ace of a team, and you have much uncertainty ahead of you.
The remaining pieces of the starting rotation are as certain as a snow storm in Texas. In other words, they may or may not come through.
So what does all of that mean for the Brewers? They need to battle at the plate. They need to be disciplined and score in games early and often to give their pitching staff a lead to work with.
The need for production will put the pressure on Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder to post more phenomenal seasons, and on the supporting cast in the batting order to come through in a way similar to the way Craig Counsell and Casey McGehee did in 2009.
This also means that the fan base should hope that Rickie Weeks is recovered and ready to go, as well as that his injured wrists would not influence his production. If he returns to his early 2009 form, the Brewers can immediately become more optimistic of their 2010 campaign.
There are many questions to be answered, and recent worries about contracts, arbitration, and discontent by some of the rising Brewers stars are among those. JJ Hardy is gone, and it is yet unknown what will happen with Corey Hart.
Then also comes the future of Fielder, which may affect not only the team but Prince's own production.
In any case, this batting order should be ready to carry the team. Reliance on pitching to carry the Brewers through the season will prove disastrous.
And I hope everyone in the locker room realizes this and has no false hopes of miracles from the pitching staff.
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