PLAY BALL BREWERS
After battling strained muscles on his right side and bruising his right thumb, will Ryan Braun get off to a slow start?
Can Prince Fielder and Corey Hart carry impressive springs over to the real season?
And what worries you more...the starting staff, or the bullpen?
All legitimate questions surrounding the 2009 version of the Brew Crew. And as the season kicks off in San Francisco, then comes back home to host the Cubs...here's my general overview. I'll be curious to see if you agree, or disagree...
First of all, I just don't see the magic of last year repeating itself. I'm thinking 85 wins, and 3rd in the NL Central...not good enough for the Wild Card. I think Yovani Gallardo should win 16-18 games...Manny Parra should be better equipped to handle a full season and not hit the wall, and Jeff Suppan appears like he'll pitch better than last year. He knows he needs to pitch into the 6th...at least.
But the rest of the staff scares me. And Trevor Hoffman is great, but he's starting the year on the DL...and who's going to get him the ball when he comes back? Carlos Villaneuva gets first crack at closing, but the Brewers will have a short hook with Jorge Julio and Todd Coffey waiting in the wings.
Offensively, I think Prince is going to have a monster year, and Corey Hart could be a 30/30 guy. And Rickie Weeks should be even more disciplined at the plate. And Bill Hall should bounce back.
But Braun's injuries flat out scare me.
Other intangibles...the defense will likely remain average. Jason Kendall remains solid, but he needs to allow Mike Rivera to play a little. Rivera deserves it and has proven he can handle it...while Kendall will be better, if he's fresher.
Your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org