Originally Posted by Jpup
M2, you said that the Brewers are for real. Why do you think they are that much better than last year? Just wondering since I haven't seen them do a whole lot to improve the club.
They've got some youth that's just going to get better anyway in Weeks and Hardy. I also think Prince Fielder's going to be a legit rookie-of-the-year candidate.
I like the Koskie pickup for that club as well. Bill Hall's a nice supersub type, but he doesn't hit RHPs that well. Koskie does.
Milwaukee made what I thought was an unnoticed great deal with the Jays. It picked up Dave Bush (who's an awfully good #4-5 starter), Zach Jackson (a pitching prospect who's probably on a 2008 timetable) and OB-savvy OF Gabe Gross. Gross hasn't clicked in the majors yet, but he should be a very good 4th OF type in 2006. Corey Hart (he wears his sunglasses at night), from the Brewers system, should also be on hand to lend OF depth.
With Gross, Hart and Hall, the Brewers have a lot of options. If there's one team in the NL that can weather some offensive injuries, it's Milwaukee.
Then there's the pitching. Ben Sheets is as good a pitcher as anyone in the NL and he should be ready for a full season in 2006 (only got 22 starts in 2005). Doug Davis and Chris Capuano are quality lefties behind him. Now add in Bush and then pick a 5th starter between Victor Santos and Tomo Ohka and Milwaukee's got one of the deepest, best rotations in the NL.
Derrick Turnbow's on hand for the closing duties. Matt Wise is a solid set up man. Jose Capellan throws lightning bolts and he'll be part of the setup crew in 2006. Keep an eye out for ex-Braves prospect Brett Evert as well -- just a gut feeling I've got on him.
Milwaukee's got a nice mix of veterans and kids. It's deep. It's got power. It's got speed. It should be able to play some decent defense. And it can pitch. The club's run differential was also three wins better than its record last year. I think that team's an excellent bet to score more and allow less.
Honestly, as of right now, I think the Brewers are the team to beat in the NL Central. I don't expect the Cardinals to roll over, just that the Brewers strike me as a club ready to bust out.