Live From Spring Training: Roster Breakdown for Milwaukee Brewers

Share

By: Melissa S. Wollering

For the next week, we’ll be coming to you live from Arizona and Cactus League play. A majority of my coverage will focus on the Milwaukee Brewers, but we’ll also throw is a taste of what’s going on with the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics and more. There is an intersquad game today for the Milwaukee Brewers–the one and only prior to tomorrow’s first game at the Giants.

Yesterday, we gave you a sense of what the 2010 pitching situation was with the Milwaukee Brewers.  Today, we take a look at our position players, the depth at each and the potential power in their bats.  So secure your Wranglers with the gaudy cowboy belt, hop on your horse and extract some 100% agave tequila from one of your many Cacti plants.  Let’s discuss what shakin’ for Milwaukee out in the desert.

There are polar opposites this year in desert country—the 2010 roster is all but settled compared to the 2009 pre-season.  All eight regular position players returned for 2009, the starting rotation was full and even the bullpen was fairly set.  Wow, do we have a different set of circumstances in 2010.

Behind the Plate: Veteran Gregg Zaun will be the new starting catcher, after the Brewers let your favorite pirate look-alike and mine, Jason Kendall, go in the off-season. Kendall called a heck of a game for our pitchers, so I’m curious to see what Zaun is like. Toronto benefited from him for five years, so we’ll see what Zaun has left after 15 years in the majors.

George Kotteras is on the 40-man roster and came to us from Boston in the off-season. Three’s company and that company could be Matt Treanor (husband to Olympian Volleyballer Missy May Treanor), Martin Maldonado, Jonathan Lucroy and Angel Salome. I think Treanor has the best chance as Lucroy and Salome might require another season in AAA. But anything can happen if they show up and play lights out.

Out in the Field: Former Twinkie CF Carlos Gomez was the most notable pick-up in the off-season, now that the party with JJ Hardy has come to an end. Gomez is known for his speed.  Defensively, he’ll need to prove he can make those clutch catches against the wall like Mike Cameron, but he may have agility and speed Cameron was losing. At the plate, Gomez will need to improve his OBP so that he can steal as well as use his speed around the bases. Macha is considering him for a 7 or 9 slot in the lineup, perhaps as a “second lead-off spot” of sorts.

RF Corey Hart is looking to former Brewers Eric Gagne for eyewear fashion tips.  Apparently Hart needs corrective lenses and the goggle-like contraption is his preference.  He says contact lenses are out; I’m not sure why.  Either way, he’d better use his improved vision to increase his offensive stats after winning $4.8M in arbitration.  He leap-frogged from $3.25M to $4.8M by batting .260 with 12 homers and 48 RBI’s.  Yeah, all you hear from Brewers fans about that is a few croaks and a ribbitt.  Hart did lose 22 pounds over the winter but needs to get back to his 2008 all-star team ways by any means necessary.

Braun is back in LF and as for utility in the outfield, expect returnee Jody Gerut, former Blue Jay Joe Inglett and Veteran fresh outta Chitown Jim Edmonds to round out the pack. Also invited to compete for an outfield utility spot are Trent Oletjen and Adam Stern.  Logan Schafer is already dealing with injury and will not likely make the mix.

In da’ House: SS Alcides Escobar takes over for Hardy after a six-week trial run towards the end of last season. He’s maturing defensively (although Brewers fans should realize they need to take their lumps). Patience will need to be a virtue at the plate, where he’ll have to increase his OBP and take more walks (he was 140 BB’s in 47 games in the minors). Much like Gomez, his speed is only an asset if he gets to first. Both Gomez and Escobar will also need to prove they can handle all 162 games.

1B Prince Fielder is going to buzz, if only for the sake his contract is of major interest to all of MLB. Scott Boras will remain silent and tell Fielder to play his cards right and hang tight.  Melvin will want to make an offer that is both realistic for the team and semi-realistic for Prince.  Then he’ll gently pressure Fielder to at the very least consider it. We’ll see, the devil is in the details and Scott Boras is that devil.

Rickie Weeks better have taken out an additional insurance policy on his wrists in the off-season. Our 2B has played no more than 129 games since coming to the majors in 2005. I was only able to wear my Rickie Weeks jersey for 37 games last year, so it’s staying in my closet for that number of games this year. However, he was hot for the first time prior to that injury, so maybe he can break me from my habit of writing Wickie Reeks, no pun intended.

3B Casey McGehee is back and I’m still thanking the Cubs organization for giving us such a fine individual.  Their loss was certainly our gain. His rookie season batting .301 with 16 HR, 66 RBI was cut short in closing weeks by a knee that needed surgical cleaning. McGehee should bounce back now that his knee feels better and be a major contributor.

And don’t hold your breath, but for once, I haven’t had to write about injuries in the month of February or March—yet   The early days of camp have been healthy. Side note, apparently Mike Cameron is already bugged by a groin injury in Boston’s camp. Sox for you, Boston.

Get your Spring Training fix here again tomorrow, as we cover the first game of the season!  The Milwaukee Brewers take on the San Francisco Giants in their yard in Scottsdale!  We’ll be there, with highlights in real time on Twitter. Follow me @MilwBrewersBeat or check the website for daily recaps.  Play Ball!

Powered by

Speak Your Mind