Results tagged ‘ Mat Gamel ’

Brewer Nation Podcast – Off-Season Primer

Recorded on location last night, here is the latest Brewer Nation podcast.

Check the tags for some of the players mentioned during this hour-long clip.

This Week in Brewers Transactions (9/30-10/4)

MatGamel

It’s been just four business days since the Milwaukee Brewers played their final game of the 2013 Major League Baseball regular season. A number of transactions — both at the 40-man roster level and elsewhere in the organization — have happened so far this week, so here’s a full “recappening” to make sure you’re up to speed.

I include my tweets about the bullet items to illustrate that the best way to get this information quickly is to just follow me on Twitter (@BrewerNation).

During the week of September 12-18:

  • RHP Arcenio Leon was signed to a 2014 MiLB contract (but it would be announced officially by the team finally on 10/1).

Tuesday, October 1

  • RHP Austin Blaski (21st round draft pick in 2012) retired from professional baseball. Blaski was a 2013 All-Star for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers before an arm injury cost him the rest of his season. He had surgery and retired, no doubt, as a result.
  • The Brewers announced the minor league resigning of several players to 2014 contracts
    • The aforementioned Arcenio Leon.
    • C/3B Robinzon Diaz
    • SS Hector Gomez
    • INF Eugenio Velez
  • OF Eric Patterson was released.

  Wednesday, October 2

    • LHP Chris Narveson elected minor league free agency
  • C/1B Blake Lalli (who was DFA’d more than two weeks prior) elected minor league free agency

 

  • RHP Dylan Brock (34th round draft pick in 2013) was suspended 50 games for violating the MiLB drug policy.

 

 

 

Thursday, October 3

  • 1B Mat Gamel was lost on waivers to the Chicago Cubs. Gamel was waived to open up a spot on the swollen 40-man roster. (The Brewers have until five days after the World Series to reinstate any players not currently counted against that roster due to 60-day DL designation, suspension, etc.)
  • INF Taylor Green was reinstated from the 60-day Disabled List.
  • Green, OF Josh Prince, and RHP Nick Bucci were outrighted to Triple-A Nashville.

Friday, October 4

  • (THIS SPACE WILL BE UPDATED WITH ANY TRANSACTIONS SHOULD THEY OCCUR ON FRIDAY)

A couple of notes about the transactions this week:

  • The removal of Prince and Bucci from the 40-man roster opens two spots on it. It currently stands at 38.
    • The Brewers have at minimum two players to add back in Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun.
    • Two spots should open when Michael Gonzalez and Yuniesky Betancourt declare free agency following the World Series.
    • There will be some names requiring protection from the Rule V Draft that will be added as the weeks progress as well.
  • Nick Bucci’s removal from the 40-man roster shouldn’t come as a big surprise. He was only added after last season following a breakout campaign. A shoulder injury cost him almost the entirety of 2013 (he got into one game and recorded two outs) and position him for a good amount of work. It’s significant that he was outrighted to Nashville despite never having pitched above High-A. That means that though he will be exposed to the Rule V Draft in December, any team selecting him would need to add him to their MLB roster and keep him there the entire 2014 season. That’s quite frankly unlikely to happen.

Audio: Doug Melvin’s Season Ending Press Conference

dougmelvin

In case you missed it, here’s the audio from Doug Melvin’s season ending press conference which just concluded at Miller Park.

Enjoy!

Brewers Announce Opening Day Roster

Milwaukee Brewers

Following today’s final exhibition game (a victory over the Chicago White Sox), the Milwaukee Brewers announced their 25-man roster for Opening Day.

Here is the breakdown by position.

Pitchers (13)

  • John Axford
  • Burke Badenhop
  • Marco Estrada
  • Mike Fiers
  • Alfredo Figaro
  • Yovani Gallardo
  • Michael Gonzalez
  • Tom Gorzelanny
  • Jim Henderson
  • Brandon Kintzler
  • Kyle Lohse
  • Chris Narveson
  • Wily Peralta

Catchers (2)

  • Jonathan Lucroy
  • Martin Maldonado

Infielders (5)

  • Alex Gonzalez
  • Yuniesky Betancourt
  • Aramis Ramirez
  • Jean Segura
  • Rickie Weeks

Outfielders (5)

  • Norichika Aoki
  • Ryan Braun
  • Khris Davis
  • Carlos Gomez
  • Logan Schafer

The Brewers will also be carrying four (4) players on the big league 15-day disabled list to begin the season (Jeff Bianchi, Taylor Green, Corey Hart, Mark Rogers) and one (1) on the 60-day DL (Mat Gamel).

Special congratulations go out to Alfredo Figaro, Mike Fiers, Jim Henderson, Jean Segura, Khris Davis, Wily Peralta, Martin Maldonado, and Logan Schafer who are all making their first Opening Day MLB roster!

Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers – #24 Mat Gamel

BBtJN Logo

Welcome back to “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers”, my annual countdown to Brewers Opening Day by way of the numbers being worn in Spring Training by 40-man rosterees and many non-roster invitees as well.

April 1st is 24 days away and as such today I profile the player who lately has appeared to be the unluckiest man in the organization…

Mat Gamel.

MatGamel

Last night on Twitter, I asked the masses whether or not they’d want today’s column to even be written given that there isn’t exactly a whole lot to discuss. The responses were mixed, but I decided to do it anyway because he’s still on the 40-man roster today and there’s at least something to discuss even if it isn’t how I think he’ll perform in 2013. That said, this will be a fairly short post.

First of all though, this time last year Mathew Lawrence Gamel was finally getting his shot. Prince Fielder followed his wallet to Detroit (don’t infer bitterness from that), and there was a wide-open position at first base which just so happened to be a position Gamel had spent some time learning in the minors in 2011. It’s almost like someone was anticipating Fielder’s departure. Zany idea, I know.

Gamel had an okay Cactus League in 2012, displaying some power be dropping six “Matomic Bombs” (a phrase I coined for the occasion of a Gamel home run) despite only hitting at a .238 clip with a .324 on-base percentage. Still, he came to camp healthy and in the best shape of his life after re-dedicating himself to his craft in the preceding off-season.

Opening Day 2012 came and Gamel trotted out in the starting lineup for the first time in his career. (“I remember…because I was there.”) Gamel went 2-for-4 that day with a run scored and everything was off to a great start.

Gamel would make it through the month of April, posting a .246/.293/.348 slash line. He totaled 17 hits, four of which were extra-base hits (sadly only one home run though), and 15 strikeouts in 69 AB. He walked four times, scored 10 runs, and drove in six.

May was far less kind.

Playing in San Diego, Gamel was chasing hard after a foul ball when the ACL in his right knee would give out. Gamel crumpled to the field and the worst was immediately feared by Brewers fans. Gamel was done for the year and had surgery on May 22nd to repair the injury.

Guys like Travis Ishikawa and Taylor Green would fill in at first base for a little while but eventually the move was made to have Corey Hart fill in there as the regular starter.

Gamel worked hard at his rehab and, by all accounts, was healthy and exactly where he should have been as late as when he first reported to camp. His knee went through a normal checkup and graded out fine. The other good news for Gamel on a professional level was that the man who took over at first base was going to be missing the first month or so of the regular season so Gamel had a starting job waiting for him again.

Then, the unluckiest guy had another black cat cross his path. He began working out at camp but was scratched from team workouts one morning after he tweaked his knee.

It was on February 18th when manager Ron Roenicke delivered the news that Gamel’s surgically-repaired ACL had suffered what is known as a “failure”. ACL repairs do fail around 10% of the time in life anyway, but Gamel’s was of particular peculiarity because the ligament didn’t re-tear at one end or the other but in the middle. It just snapped in two. What happened to Gamel is rare.

His 2013 is over before it ever truly began and his months-long rehabilitation of his knee was for naught. He had to start over and is ironically scheduled for surgery today to again repair his knee.

Gamel was in unexpectedly calm spirits in the days following the injury. He knows it happens and that it was unlucky but he realized that being upset about it wasn’t going to help him overcome it.

But the bottom line for Gamel’s career is that his time in Milwaukee as a Brewers might end when he’s given a clean bill of health.

After the 2013 season, Mat Gamel becomes eligible for arbitration. A player’s first year of arbitration eligibility sees a significant spike in salary. There have been many players over the years non-tendered in this situation. Their performance and production simply don’t warrant the salary for a team with a relatively limited budget like Milwaukee.

So, after years of being unable to breakthrough or stay healthy enough, Gamel could be jettisoned and forced to sign a minor league deal with another club in order to prove his health and his ability to contribute in an entirely new environment with an entirely new organization.

There are some fans who won’t mind that and others will probably cheer it, but the fact remains that all Gamel did throughout his minor league career was hit. He was the organization’s top prospect for a couple of years but simply couldn’t put it all together.

If Gamel returns to Milwaukee, I would think it would be under the circumstance of a very small raise, something Gamel would have to agree to. Furthermore, Gamel’s role on this team as a starter is probably done. Even if Hart leaves in free agency after 2013, the Brewers have a possible replacement in Double-A Southern League MVP Hunter Morris — who will be starting the year in Triple-A Nashville — to consider for the job as well.

Just something to keep in mind going forward as the 2013 regular season gives way to the 2013 postseason.

Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:

No Matomic Bombs in 2013

Milwaukee Brewers v San Diego Padres

Shortly after the morning team meeting today at Brewers Spring Training, Ron Roenicke addressed the media and told them that Mat Gamel is “probably going to miss the season” due to a re-tear of his surgically-repaired right knee ACL.

There will be no “matomic bombs” hit at Miller Park this year, Tiny Tim.

This comes as a bit of shock in a couple of ways. First and foremost, Gamel had good checkups on the knee both when he was in Milwaukee for “Brewers On Deck” last month, the team’s annual winter fan fest, and again just last week at down at Maryvale. Secondly, the failure of the repair occurred in the middle of the ligament. Repairs fail around 10% of the time, but if they do happen it is usually at one end of the ligament or the other. The Brewers head physician, Dr. William Raasch, explained the failure scenario to team officials and then assistant GM Gord Ash relayed that assessment to the media.

From here, Roenicke told the media that Doug Melvin’s plan is to review internal options first. That means a longer look for Taylor Green, perhaps more looks for Alex Gonzalez and Martín Maldonado, an a more significant look at Brewers 2012 Minor League Player of the Year and Southern League MVP Hunter Morris. Another name you’ll see in the box score on the big league side now is Sean Halton who started at 1B for the Nashville Sounds last year. To that end, Gord Ash told Brewers.com beat writer Adam McCalvy that Hunter Morris “will be a strong candidate” to play first base at the start of the season.

There are a couple of unsigned free agents with first base experience in Carlos Lee and Aubrey Huff, but there is doubt that either would want to come to a situation where they’re basically guaranteed to lose the job as soon as Corey Hart is healthy enough to return. Other externals options include recently DFA’d players. Mike Carp and Daric Barton fit that description.

What would you do, Brewer Nation?

Source: Soft-Platoon Partner for Gamel Could Already Be On Roster

In many conversations I’ve had over the past several days about the Brewers roster composition, backup first baseman was of particular interest.

Following Corey Hart’s knee surgery, Mat Gamel was promoted from his assumed role of reserve first baseman — along with third baseman and corner outfielder — back to the starting first baseman’s job he held last season when the team headed north after Spring Training.

The initial talk was about how quickly Hart could and would return. Then it moved to whether Gamel was a capable starter for the span of time Hart would be missing. Soon though that the Brewers didn’t have an official backup first baseman anymore was quickly realized by many fans.

martin maldonado

First, the Brewers openly courted former Brewer Lyle Overbay, but to no avail as he signed a contract with the Boston Red Sox. More quietly they were interested in Juan Rivera who logged time in 54 games at first base for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season. Rivera agreed to a free agent contract with the New York Yankees instead.

This sent up some flares signaling that the Brewers didn’t outwardly appear all that interested in heading to the season with the relatively inexperienced (and left-handed hitting, like Gamel) Taylor Green as the primary backup.

Talk moved to Hunter Morris and whether he would be given a chance to compete for the job. I’ve done my best to point out that Morris isn’t even on the 40-man roster this year and it would be extremely out of character (and in my opinion foolhardy) to waste an option year and start Morris’ arbitration clock for the time which Hart would miss. And that was to the people who were suggesting Morris as the starter over Gamel. To those who think they’d burn the same to make use of Morris as a backup, all I can say is that I don’t exactly foresee that either.

With all this talk, I reached out to a source about the role and it was suggested to me that backup catcher Martín Maldonado could be the man to fill in against some lefty starters in Gamel’s stead. The source went so far as to say that Maldonado was told specifically to get a first baseman’s glove to bring Spring Training. To that end, Maldonado is on record as saying that he enjoyed the time that he got to play first base last year.

One potential problem is that it is quite unlikely that Maldonado will see any reps at first base while away at the World Baseball Classic — where he will back up Yadier Molina for Team Puerto Rico — so he’d miss that time. Plus, as his time with the Brewers will be limited overall this Spring, Maldonado will likely be called on to catch plenty when he is with Milwaukee so he can develop his rapport with his new pitchers and reestablish the bonds with the returning Brewers hurlers.

Still, it would make sense if Maldonado is up to the task. He surprised most people with his offensive numbers last season and played passable-at-worst defense at first when called on.

So basically, keep that in mind when and if you see Maldonado’s name start popping up in Cactus League boxscores with a “1B” near it.

Brewers Starter to Undergo Knee Surgery

Milwaukee Brewers Photo DayMilwaukee Brewers first baseman Corey Hart will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee this Tuesday (January 22) in Milwaukee.  Dr. William Raasch will perform a debridement of the right knee joint surface and repair a meniscal tear.  Recovery time is expected to be three to four months.

That puts his return to the team right around mid-May if all goes well.

Looks like we know what Mat Gamel will be up to during Spring Training after all.

As for the obvious follow up question as to “Why is this just happening now?” either Hart hurt himself preparing for the season or this was something that was bothering him at the end of the year, shutting himself down made him feel better, and now in ramping up to Spring Training the pain returned and resulted in the forthcoming surgery.

The word though is that Hart’s knee swelled up during off-season workouts. To me, that feels like it is more the latter of the two situations I described in the last paragraph.

Hart had cartilage repaired on the same knee last March after he was hurt while hustling to attend Ryan Braun’s press conference. At the time he was told that if he didn’t have it repaired, he could risk further damage eventually resulting in a procedure with a 3-4 month recovery period. That certainly sounds like what he’s facing now.

All that I can hope is that Hart takes the proper time in his recovery and doesn’t rush himself back like he has in the past. This team will need him firing on all cylinders when he’s activated from the Disabled List.

Official Release: Brewers On Deck To Feature Over 50 Players, Coaches

brewersondeck2013

Thirty-two current Milwaukee Brewers players from the 40-man roster plus a host of alumni, Minor League prospects, coaches, front office executives and broadcasters are scheduled to participate in Brewers On Deck, which is set to take place Sunday, January 27 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Delta Center.  The event is presented by Time Warner Cable.

Brewers On Deck is the annual Fan Fest that bridges the gap between winter and Spring Training.  Players, coaches and alumni scheduled to attend include the following (all subject to change):

PLAYERS

COACHES

  • Ron Roenicke
  • Joe Crawford
  • Marcus Hanel (@Markoos55)
  • Garth Iorg
  • Rick Kranitz
  • Jerry Narron
  • Johnny Narron
  • Ed Sedar
  • John Shelby
  • Lee Tunnell

MINORS

ALUMNI

  • Jerry Augustine (@jaugie46)
  • Jim Gantner
  • Larry Hisle
  • Gorman Thomas
  • Bob Uecker

Tickets for Brewers On Deck are currently on sale.  Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for children ages 14 and under. Tickets may be purchased at the Miller Park ticket office, by calling the Brewers Ticket office at 414-902-4000, or online at Brewers.com/ondeck. On the day of the event, only cash will be accepted for purchases made at the door.  Tickets the day of the event are $20 for adults and $15 for children 14 and under.

Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family.  Autographs and photos from Brewers players and coaches, interactive games in the Kids Area, Q&A sessions and game shows with coaches, players and staff, vendor booths with baseball memorabilia, the Brewers Community Foundation Treasure Hunt and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.

The same system for autographs will be used for Brewers On Deck that was used last year.  Recipients of any “PREMIER” autographs (players to be announced at a later date) will be chosen through a random selection process. Numbered coupons to be entered into the random selection process will be available the day of the event only and will be distributed beginning at 8 a.m. at the Delta Center. Coupon distribution will be available up to an hour before each designated autograph session. A schedule of players, their session times, and distribution info will be posted later this month.

Fans can receive one coupon per event admission ticket and can use that coupon to enter the random selection process for any one of the select Brewers players. There is no cost for coupons to enter the random selection process; however, those holding coupons that are chosen must pay $25 at the respective autograph stage to collect their player signature. There will be 250 winners for each of the PREMIER autograph sessions.

Players and staff not included in the PREMIER autograph list will not use the random selection process. Each of these players will sign 250 autographs at prices ranging from free to $10. The autograph opportunities are for signatures on photo cards provided by the team; the Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia.  For additional information regarding the lottery process, visit Brewers.com/ondeck.

All autograph proceeds benefit Brewers Community Foundation. Please note that cash is the only acceptable form of payment for autographs.  The Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia, and personalization of items is solely up to the discretion of each player.

If The Season Started Tomorrow…

It’s the final day of 2012.

This was a year which saw the Milwaukee Brewers attempt (unsuccessfully) to defend a division championship for the first time since 1983. It was the first time that the Brewers featured their very own defending league Most Valuable Player since 1990. They entered the season with an intact rotation which used the fewest different arms (6) to make all 162 starts. Arguably the league’s most fearsome bullpen back-end was returning as well with only a couple of key veterans taking jobs elsewhere. And sure, Prince Fielder followed the money to Detroit but this was going to be Mat Gamel’s breakout year and Aramis Ramirez would pick up most of the slack…at least once May rolled around, he would.

Alas, we all know how things turned out in 2012 so I shan’t recap the trials, tribulations, trade, and triumphs that resulted in 83 victories a year after winning a franchise-record 96 games.

No, for this column we look forward. We look forward to 2013. We look forward to P&C. We look much too far forward to Opening Day with this set of projections.

If the season started tomorrow, the following things would be true:

  • I’d be extremely happy that I wouldn’t have to still be counting down to Opening Day (91 days as of this writing).
  • I’d be extremely cold while tailgating outside of Miller Park for a few hours on my wife’s birthday.
  • I’d have failed miserably in posting my season preview “Brewers By the Jersey Numbers” articles.

But really, I’m posting today to take a look at how the current roster stacks up and what I think a 25-man roster would look like when the games started counting.

dougmelvinI gotta tell you all that I would normally not make this projection for quite some time but with Doug Melvin’s declaration that they were “coming to the end” of acquiring free agents (or however he exactly worded it), chances are the majority of options at the team’s disposal today are going to be the same options they are presented with in 43 days when Pitchers and Catchers officially report.

Of course, and it should go without needing to be said, a ton can change between now and then anyway despite appearances. Somebody could be traded. Somebody could be signed as a veteran backup where currently only inexperience resides. Somebody could injure themselves in a pickup basketball game. Et cetera. But if we accounted for every “if” that we could, nobody would ever project anything. That’s simply not much fun.

Assuming everyone is through rehab successfully, here is how my 25-man roster would look if the season started tomorrow. (Players listed alphabetically within their position group.)

Starting Pitchers (5)

  • Marco Estrada
  • Mike Fiers
  • Yovani Gallardo
  • Chris Narveson*
  • Mark Rogers

Gallardo

I know what you’re thinking. “Free Wily Peralta!” I agree that he’s likely one of the best five options available to fill a spot in the rotation but based on the necessary evil of depth maintenance and with respect to the rules on minor league options, this just feels like the rotation that will head north from Arizona. Gallardo is a lock. Estrada was mentioned more than once this off-season as having an advantage in the competition. (He also isn’t hurt by the fact that his manager really likes his pitching.) Fiers did more than enough throughout most the season to be given a shot from the get. After adding two left-handed relievers to the bullpen, sticking Narveson in there doesn’t make sense anymore (if it ever did). Rogers is out of options and I really want to see him get a shot to contribute as a starting pitcher. He won’t make it through waivers to Nashville. Peralta has options remaining and that’s what this should come down to. Don’t doubt for a minute though that if Fiers struggles for a few starts early and it appears that the end of 2012 was due to being “figured out” more so than simply fatigue, he’ll be optioned down to Nashville in favor of the young Dominican.

Tyler Thornburg will get a look this spring but I feel like they don’t want to mess with him as a reliever this year at all. They’ll give him a full season starting in Triple-A. Hopefully with the regular and steady work he was used to, he’ll be able to avoid the arm fatigue that slowed his development in 2012. Hiram Burgos, just added to the 40-man roster, should also pitch in games in big league camp to start the spring, but after skyrocketing through the system this year, he’ll be in Nashville’s rotation when camp breaks.

Relief Pitchers (7)

  • John Axford (Closer)
  • Burke Badenhop
  • Mike Gonzalez*
  • Tom Gorzelanny*
  • Jim Henderson
  • Brandon Kintzler
  • Michael Olmsted

axfordaction

One open spot for competition. Many feel that the aforementioned Peralta should be in the rotation and that either Narveson or Rogers will become the default long reliever as a effect. For me, the final spot in the ‘pen will come down to one of the recent high-ceiling additions which Melvin and his staff have picked up this off-season. If I had my druthers, Michael Olmsted gets first crack at it. Spring Training performance might dictate that he isn’t ready for the jump over Triple-A, and this might be specifically adjusted in March, but based on minor league numbers, projectability, and stuff, Olmsted appears to be at the top of the influx of opportunity-seekers. Olmsted is already on the 40-man roster too, something that would come into play should someone like a Jairo Asencio continue to impress.

Last year’s swingman Josh Stinson has an option remaining so he’ll head to the minors. Likewise Miguel De Los Santos. One other note, as of this posting the Mike Gonzalez deal still hadn’t been made official. When it is, someone must come off the 40-man roster. I think that will be Fautino De Los Santos. So, if he’s even still with the organization, he’ll be tucked away in the minors to begin the year.

Catchers (2)

  • Jonathan Lucroy
  • Martin Maldonado

lucroy-bunting

Need there be a lengthy explanation? How’s this: no other catchers on the 40-man; these two played very well all year (when healthy); next best options coming to camp are Blake Lalli and Dayton Buller. Next!

Infielders (7)

  • Jeff Bianchi
  • Mat Gamel**
  • Corey Hart
  • Donnie Murphy
  • Aramis Ramirez
  • Jean Segura
  • Rickie Weeks

segura

A “traditional” roster usually consists of six infielders and five outfielders. I’ve split this roster differently for a couple of reasons though. First, Mat Gamel and Jeff Bianchi are both out of minor league options. Bianchi performed okay last year in his first big league action, but really what the Brewers will be holding onto is depth at shortstop. Sure, they wouldn’t have to add Donnie Murphy to the 40-man roster at all and could just stash him in the minors to begin the year but he is the superior defender to Bianchi and can more capably cover defensively at the hot corner. Furthermore, the team has made no secret of the designs to have Gamel play in the corner outfield spots this spring along with Corey Hart’s obvious ability to fill in should an emergency arise.

Taylor Green will once again be the victim of circumstance, but he is more valuable to the organization playing everyday anyway even if that’s at Nashville. He can stay ready at the plate and be called upon if an injury creates a need.

Outfielders (4)

  • Norichika Aoki**
  • Ryan Braun
  • Carlos Gomez
  • Logan Schafer**

braunaction

To elaborate a bit on my point from above, Logan Schafer can play all three defensive outfield positions very well. He can take over for any of the regulars when they need a day off and can be utilized in double-switches late in games. It’d be the same way that the Brewers played the majority of 2012 defensively once Hart moved to first base. Assuming that day’s starting outfield was Braun-Gomez-Aoki, Nyjer Morgan was the only “true” outfielder remaining on the roster. Schafer can do more than Morgan could defensively and still brings at least as much at the plate from the same left side.

For the record, if the Brewers did decide to carry five outfielders, I’d guess that Murphy would begin the season in the minors for depth and the extra outfielder would be Caleb Gindl. This seven IFs and four OFs configuration can work, though, with the proper personnel. The Brewers would have that group in 2013 should they choose to go that route. I would.

Opening Day Lineup

  1. Rickie Weeks
  2. Norichika Aoki
  3. Ryan Braun
  4. Aramis Ramirez
  5. Corey Hart
  6. Jonathan Lucroy
  7. Carlos Gomez
  8. Jean Segura
  9. Yovani Gallardo

On Opening Day I foresee manager Ron Roenicke looking to do a couple of things with his lineup. I think he’d like to have Weeks back up near the top and despite how Aoki performed so well while leading off in 2012 I think he’ll play the same card he did once he moved Weeks down the lineup last year to justify the order I have listed. You may recall that on days when Carlos Gomez started in center, Aoki batted second because Aoki handled the bat better to move the leadoff hitter over should he reach base. When Morgan started in center Roenicke felt that Aoki’s patience resulted in a better chance to get on base for the rest of the lineup. As we know, despite typically low batting averages, Weeks gets on base. His .350 career OBP is 99 points higher than his career batting average and only .005 lower than what Aoki did in his rookie season. What’s more, despite the struggles Weeks had for a majority of 2012, he still managed to walk 74 times (and reached based 13 more times after being hit by a pitch).

That being the situation near the top, I think it affords Roenicke the opportunity to begin with Gomez further down the order where he won’t hurt the Brewers early on in the season should he regress from last year’s breakout. If Gomez proves that 2012 is the baseline going forward then Roenicke will have a good problem with which to deal.

Segura is still young, still growing into his skills and performed well enough in the oft-dreaded “spot before the pitcher” that he could flourish there to begin the year. His winter league numbers are also encouraging regardless of the competition level. If he can develop more patience, he’ll be contributing plenty out of the 8th spot all season.

* - Throws left-handed
** - Bats left-handed

So that’s how I see things shaking out if the season started tomorrow.

And you?

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