The 2012 Milwaukee Brewers are off to a start that has surprised many. Pitching has not been as good as expected, but not as bad as some think. The offense, on the other hand, is trying to find a rhythm, and simply has not found it. Remember Brewers fans that the team wasn't exactly lighting things up early in 2011, yet recovered to win 96 games. Many things happen throughout a 162 game season. Slumps, trades, injuries, etc.. Most of them are unpredictable, and some are educated guesses. Brewers GM Doug Melvin often times refers to "162 games in 180 days", and I agree that 6 months of baseball brings change. Let’s look into a crystal ball to see if we can project some "surprises".
DON'T BE SURPRISED IF...
-Carlos Gomez, Nyjer Morgan, or Logan Schafer is traded this season. With the team signing Aoke to a 2 year deal, one of the centerfielders 'could' be expendable.
-Relievers are used in abundance. Keep in mind that Mark Defelice, Brandon Kintzler,
Frankie De la Cruz, Sergio Mitre, Mitch Stetter, Michael Fiers, Cody Scarpetta, Sean Green, and Danny Ray Herrera were all used in 2011. By the looks of Manny Parra, Tim Dillard, and the injury to Narveson, there could be a revolving door of relievers. Mike McClendon has already made his presence known, along with Willie Perralta.
-Shawn Marcum is signed to a 3-4 year deal. With the high ticket contract of Matt Cain, are the Brewers going to 'pony up' for Zack Greinke? Probably not, so Marcum looks like a candidate for a deal. Potentially the team could lose Greinke, Wolf, Marcum, and Narveson to injury heading into 2013. The team may 'cover themselves' with a contract to Marcum despite his struggles late in 2011.
-Both GM Doug Melvin and Manager Ron Roenicke are singed to 'healthy' contracts. This may not be that impressive to predict, since the talks for both, had come up during spring training. The organization seems as healthy as it has ever been under these two guys.
-A trade deadline move is made. With the uncertainty of the rotation for next year, does the team consider this year as another year to 'go for it'? Probably. However, if by chance the crew is not contending, they could make a move for other reasons.
-The Brewers have only 1 representative in this year’s All-Star Game. With Ryan Braun’s off season issues, he may not be that 'automatic' selection. Who might be that selection? Greinke? Yo? Weeks again? Possibly, but no guarantees.
-The Brewers actually get fed up with their players being hit by pitches. This may clear some benches by the end of the year...with multiple teams.
--Prince Fielder speaks candid regarding his stay in Milwaukee. There have been some comments regarding leadership and clubhouse attitude. Prince was not mentioned by name in some of these comments, but some have read between the lines" and have come up with an assumption. Prince "may" have some words on the issue.
-Aoki becomes the starting centerfielder, and bats lead-off. Some have already discussed this as an option, and 'if' the offense does not step it up soon, why not try it, with Weeks moving to the #2 position?
--Sparky does something to 'shake up the team'. Perhaps another 'sleep strike', hair color or cut, or anything that Ramie and I laugh at. Could happen. He might even drag me into these shenanigans.
When reading these bullet points, insert "Don't be surprised if" prior to each point. Many things occur throughout a season. Let’s look back on these to see if one or more is on the Mark. Smile Milwaukee, the world will smile back. See you on the air.