Can the Brewers Farm System Save the Season?

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John Axford

Marco Estrada, Zack Braddock, John Axford and Jonathan Lucroy.  These are not names you necessarily expected to see playing in the majors for the Milwaukee Brewers this season.

However, after a series of disappointing performances by veterans, injuries to Doug Davis, Gregg Zaun and others and no where else to turn, Doug Melvin and Ken Macha choose to raid their farm system and bring some good ol’ boys up. Will it work?

Photos & Article By Melissa S. Wollering

Zack Braddock

After starting the season with six potential starting pitchers and releasing relievers because there were too many bodies in the bullpen, the Milwaukee Brewers found themselves absolutely spent before Memorial Day.

Speculation about how Doug Melvin and Ken Macha would fix their battered pitching corps and less-than-stellar offensive performances intensified as the Brewers loss column grew. Would they shop a huge trade? Was the season even salvageable? Would we turn to our own farm system for a few arms?

The latter seems to be the next tactic in the club’s effort to keep the 2010 season from imploding on itself. With Doug Davis and Gregg Zaun out at oh-so convenient times (they were hurting more than helping), Melvin and Macha decided to tap into the AAA spring.  Could the water bring restorative qualities and new life to a team that’s almost out of it in May?

Jonathan Lucroy

On Sunday, Marco Estrada made the start against Carl Pavano. After Manny Parra came in to eat up additional innings, Zack Braddock made his major league debut in front of his family. Then John Axford, who has seen some action already this season is relief, took over Trevor Time.  With Hoffman as the set-up guy, Axford earned the save at Target Field. Jonathan Lucroy is expected to catch as soon as Tuesday for Randy Wolf and bring his hot bat to the lineup.

Not only did the AAA talent seem provide the necessary steam to move the derailed train back onto the tracks, but it made for exciting baseball for the first time in a while. I’m not sure that the plan is a ‘sure fix’ but with virtually zero other choices, could it at least lift the rest of team up enough to win more often? Corey Hart and Prince Fielder seemed inspired, hitting a homer apiece in Sunday’s game.

Sometimes all it takes is a fresh perspective, a change of pace and a few hearty players who aren’t bruised and battered (physically and emotionally).  What do you think?  Will this be enough to set streaky Milwaukee Brewers straight?

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  1. Melissa W. says

    I love that Spring Training provides me the opportunity to photograph all these guys just in case. CAME IN HANDY TODAY, HOLY COW! Enjoy the pics!

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