I don’t know about you, but I’m getting giddy for the start of the 2012 Major League Baseball Season. This is perhaps the best week in all of sports. Not only do we get to crown the college basketball national champion, but we also play witness to the eloquent Masters and kick off the long grind known as the MLB regular season.
Since we already took a look at the Milwaukee Brewers new-look offense, let’s take a peek at the starting rotation which returns all five guys from the division-winning team of last season.
I’ve said it many times before and I won’t stop now, Gallardo is the bonofide ace of the team. Seeing that Ron Roenicke has slotted him to start on Opening Day, I’ll take it that he agrees (he was also the Brewers’ best pitcher in last season’s postseason). Yovani hasn’t been dominant this spring (2-2 with a 4.56 ERA in six starts), but who really cares much about spring stats. Over the last three seasons, he’s won at least 13 games, including a career-high 17 last season in which he had a team-high 207 strikeouts. Gallardo is at the beginning of his prime, so expecting 15+ wins wouldn’t be out of the question.
2.) Zack Greinke
Everyone loves Greinke and there’s no reason to stop, especially considering how well he’s played in Arizona this spring. In five appearances, the hard-throwing righty has allowed a total of 14 hits and two earned runs over 19.1 innings. He has a ridiculous strikeout/walk ratio (28/2) and is coming off a season where he took Milwaukee by storm with a 16-6 record. At Miller Park, the guy was a perfect 11-0 with a 3.13 ERA. Expect much of the same because he’s pitching very well right now.
3.) Randy Wolf
Wolf is in the midst of a contract year and will be the team’s veteran lefty. In each of his two seasons with the Brewers, he’s picked up 13 wins and has been relatively consistent. In spring training, Wolf has struggled similar to how Gallardo has struggled with up-and-down performances. The nice thing about Wolf is that he’s pitched over 200 innings in the past three seasons and he’s really the closest thing the Brewers have to an innings-eater.
4.) Shaun Marcum
In my opinion, Marcum is the biggest question mark for the rotation. He’s dealt with some shoulder issues this spring and had a terrible postseason (0-3 and 14.9 ERA in just over 9 innings pitched). With a less potent offense this time around, Milwaukee could really use the 13 wins and team-leading 1.16 WHIP they received from him in 2011. All indication is that he’s healthy and will be ready to go for his season-opener against the Cubs.
5.) Chris Narveson
Narveson may be in the five-spot, but I truly believe he’s the darkhorse in the Brewers’ rotation. The lefty is improving every-day and is primed for a solid year. This spring, he’s struggled with his command (10 walks), but has done a great job of limiting the damage with an ERA of 4.01. All of Milwaukee’s pitchers will benefit from experience, including Narveson who has logged considerable time on the mound over the past two seasons. Expect another double-digit win year for Chris.
What do you think of the Brewers starting rotation? Will it be enough to take them back to the playoffs or did they really over-achieve last season? Let me know by commenting below!
If you didn’t catch the link before, here’s the preview of the Brewers starting line-up!
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, and Milwaukee Brewers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.Follow paulmbanks