Milwaukee Brewers Weekly Check-In (2-28-11)

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If you’re not one of those baseball nerds who follows every single thing going on in the Milwaukee Brewers Organization, don’t worry, because The Sports Bank’s Nick Grays has you covered with what happened in the past week and what’s going on in the future.

And if you are one of those nerds, feel free to join in on some good old analysis of America’s pastime in the Brew City.

This week we talk about the excitement brewing around ticket sales, St. Louis Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright’s Injury and the upcoming week in Cactus League play!

By: Nick Grays

Last Week’s Headlines:

Tickets Selling Like Hot Cakes In Milwaukee
Brewers fans came out by the masses this past week to purchase tickets. In the very first day of ticket sales, the team sold 98,000 tickets, which is tied for second-most in club history on a single day.

Moreover, three games are already sold out. It’s not a surprise to see Opening Day sold out, but other games is a great sign for a small-market team like the Brewers.

If the excitement conjured up by eager fans is anything like the Brewers performance on the field this season, it’s going to be a good year.

Rival Cardinals Ace Adam Wainwright Needs Tommy John Surgery
The majority of story-lines coming out of Spring Training are injury-related. This season already has a big one with Cardinals Ace Adam Wainwright said to need the dreaded TJ surgery. For more on Wainwright’s injury and what it means for the Cardinals, check out FoxSports Ken Rosenthal’s article entitled Cards’ dominoes fall with Wainwright.

For the Brewers, Wainwright’s injury is a huge sigh of relief because he was downright nasty last season while compiling a 20-11 record and 2.42 ERA. Two of his 20 wins came against the Brewers with one of them being a complete-game shutout. In three games pitched against Milwaukee, Wainwright gave up only four earned runs in 25 innings of work.

Without Wainwright, the Brewers edge out the Cardinals for the best rotation in the NL Central. And with a talented offense, you would have to think the Brewers become the favorites in the division. Throw in the Albert Pujols fiasco and the unknown surrounding the Reds and Cubs and I’m not surprised why fans are buying up a lot of Brewers tickets.

Looking Ahead:

Cactus League Begins and Pitching Rotation Announced

Monday, February 28th vs. Giants (RHP Shaun Marcum) and vs. Cubs (RHP Tim Dillard)
Marcum and Dillard get to be the first pitchers in action in this split-squad affair. Marcum bounced back from TJ surgery with a great year in 2010 and could be a sleeper in the Brewers rotation. Dillard is vying for a spot in Milwaukee’s bullpen.

Tuesday, March 1st vs. White Sox (RHP Zach Greinke) and (LHP Chris Narveson)
Greinke will make his highly anticipated Brewers debut on Tuesday. Read why TSB columnist Jake McCormick thinks Greinke’s best long-term option would be to stay in Milwaukee. The lefty Narveson will also see some innings after putting forth a solid year in 2010.

Wednesday, March 2nd vs. Cubs (RHP Yovani Gallardo)
To me, Gallardo remains the ace for the Brewers and will look to stand out in Spring Training in order to get the nod on Opening Day.

Thursday, March 3rd vs. A’s (LHP Randy Wolf)
Joining Narveson as the other lefty in the starting rotation, Wolf should be a lot more comfortable from the fourth spot in the rotation than the second spot he was forced to deal with last season. Make sure to watch the catcher position throughout the week as Jonathan Lucroy eases back in to catching pitches after having surgery for his broken pinkie.

Do you think the Brewers are the favorites in the NL Central? Are you excited about the upcoming season? Let me know by commenting below!

Nick Grays is a senior editor at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Brewers. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.

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