The Milwaukee Brewers are toiling in the wind with more questions than answers heading into the 2017 season. With a roster short on consistent players, 2017 could be a long year for the Brewers.
With a record of 73-89 last season, the Brewers failed to make the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. The lack of hitting in their lineup showed early and often throughout last year’s regular season.
The Brewers finished 2nd to last in hits and lead the NL in strikeouts. On the upside, the biggest culprit of the strikeout epidemic, Chris Carter, traded in the Milwaukee blue and gold for pinstripes in New York this past week. Although Carter was a strikeout machine with 206 punch outs leading the league, he did pitch in and NL-high 41 home runs.
Hopefully picking up the slack for the Brew Crew, will be fourth-year utility man Jonathan Villar. After limited playing time in his first three seasons with the Astros, Villar emerged last season as a viable All-Star candidate with 19 homers, 63 RBIs, and a .285 batting average. Villar has exceptional value as a utility infielder, not only for the Brewers but the rest of the league in Milwaukee wants to blow things up this season.
Ryan Braun had a return to stardom last season with his first 30 home run season since his 2011 MVP campaign. Being signed through 2022, Braun will be a part of Milwaukee’s future for better or worse at age 33 entering his tenth season in the majors.
On the mound, the Brewers don’t deploy starting pitchers that instill any fear in the hearts of opposing batters. Matt Garza was an innings eater last season with a 4.51 ERA and Jimmy Nelson, who the Brewers expect to be their ace, did no better with a 4.62 ERA.
The Brewers have filled their pitching staff with a bunch of Jake Peavy’s; hit or miss starting pitchers best suited as a fourth starter. Moving Villar at the deadline may be their only chance to snag a quality starting pitcher to build their starting rotation around.
The Brewers are at a crossroads heading into 2017; miles away from the Cubs and Cardinals, but not bad enough to not beat the Pirates in the NL Central standings. Nonetheless, the Brewers have gotten used to losing since 2011 and another year of that should be expected in 2017.
- I'm a 19-year old sophomore dual major in Journalism and Sports Management at Eastern Nazarene College. Born in Boston, MA raised in Brockton, and just happy to be here at NGSC Sports.