Sheets and Sabathia are on the free-agent market, and the Brewers are faced with a subpar staff at best. Yovanni Gallardo, Jeff Suppan, Dave Bush, Chris Capuano, Carlos Villanueva, and Seth McClung are the potential starters. On paper, these remaining pitchers aren't the worst, but it seems that most have not lived up to their full worth.
Dave Bush once again showed an inability to pitch well on the road, but once at home, he pitched like Cy Young. Bush had a 3.50 ERA, compared to a dismal 5.14 away from Miller Park. Six of Bush's nine wins game at home. He also added a playoff victory in game three of the NLDS against the Phillies.
Yovanni Gallardo came to Spring Training, got hurt, missed the start of the season, finally appeared on Apr. 20, only to be hurt three starts later on May 1. He didn't come back until the last week of the season. The best sign from Gallardo was a 1.88 ERA in his five starts. Gallardo, who came up as a very highly-scouted player looks to be the strongest player on the remaining staff.
Seth McClung came out of nowhere in 2008 and wore many hats. The former Ray started the year in the bullpen but came on as a starter at various times throughout the year. Fans started to pull 6'6'' right-hander. His 3.44 ERA on the road was an answer to Dvae Bush's road problems. Seth will be a major contender for one of the five rotation spots in 2009.
Chris Capuano had a rough 2008 in more ways than one. The left hander was hurt for the entire season, and had to sit at home while his team celebrated a playoff berth. Capuano struggled mightily in 2007 and his status was unknown until his injury decided it for him.
Jeff Suppan had signed the biggest contract in 2007 when he came over after a NLCS MVP and World Series Championship. But the "soup was cold" in 2008. Besides the month of June, Suppan never really put solid starts together.
Carlos Villenueva showed that he is better used out of the bullpen. He got knocked around pretty bad as a starter, but flourished as a closer similar to 2007. He's not a bad filler to give someone a break in the rotation or to fill in on injuries, but his game is best when out of the bullpen.
Sabathia and Sheets will be the talk of the Brewers offseason. As of now, Scott Boras has not back to the Brewers. If by some miracle he does sign, the staff will get a major boost.
So, the Brewers' staff remains up in the air. Compared to their infield, which I covered earlier, this seems to be the most pressing issue.