Some months ago, I wrote a piece titled '29 Years, 29 Keys To A Division Championship'. The point was to show that many things factor into the equation of winning AND losing. The 2012 Milwaukee Brewers are certainly not playing up to expectations, and like last year, there are reasons for the slow start. Let’s take a look at some of them:
*The following is listed in no particular order
-Ryan Braun's challenging off season-- The impact of Braun’s situation is hard to measure just how it has affected the team, but it's kind of hard to believe that it helped in any way.
-A slow offensive start for Ricky Weeks-- We all know that Weeks will hit better than he has so far. This will certainly help win games.
-The exit of Prince Fielder-- Just how much has it affected the crew’s offense? We'll re-visit this once the Brewers start hitting. However, we can all agree it has a huge impact, but just how big?
-The loss of hitting coach Dale Sveum-- Although we wish Dale well, but not too well. I guess this bullet point depends on what a hitting coach means to you.
-Mat Gamel’s injury-- Gamel was poised to have a productive year. Considering what they have replaced him with, this has hurt in 2012.
-The loss of bullpen relievers Hawkins and Saito-- One can look at this, and agree that they were BIG reasons why K Rod and Ax had the years that they did. Can Loe and Veras be the new Saito and Hawkins? Let’s find out.
-Injury to shortstop Alex Gonzalez-- Finally the crew gets a 'plus' defensive shortstop. This has stabilized that position. Izturis and Maysonet?
-K Rod’s performance early this season-- Not only hurting the crew from game to game, but begs the question, is he lowering his trade value, in case, the Brewers try to trade him?
-Slow start for Aramis Ramirez-- Any clean-up hitter needs to knock in runs. Aramis needs to start doing that, right now, he is not.
-Injury to Chris Narveson-- In 2012 the crew used only 6 starting pitchers, can it possibly happen again?
-Lack of depth within the organization-- The Brewers knew this coming into the season. With performance issues, and injuries, the rest of the way will lean heavily on depth. Will it step up?
-Minus “Tony Plush”-- The personality of Morgan has not been seen to the extent it was last year. Production aside, can “Plush” make his return.
-Carlos Gomez injury-- Although the least serious, seems the crew misses him.
Each year, each team in baseball is challenged with many things. Can the crew overcome the above? Let’s have some fun finding out. Smile Milwaukee, the world will smile back!