Saturday, April 4, 2009

Brewers will make a postseason push even without Sabathia and Sheets

Major League Baseball is soon to be underway and the anticipation is growing. Milwaukee lost two aces in the offseason; Ben Sheets and CC Sabathia. That is in the past, the Brewers are now looking to their future. That future hinges on young Yovani Gallardo staying healthy.

Milwaukee was able to secure the Wild Card position last season and it was their first playoff appearance since 1982. Sabathia more than anything was a key reason the Crew made the playoffs last season, but Milwaukee is poised to make another playoff run in 2009.

As long as Gallardo is healthy, the Brewers are just as dangerous as last season, if not more so. Gallardo did not see much time last season because he had a freak torn ACL injury. It is not an arm injury which is always good news. Guys that have arm injuries seem to be haunted the rest of their careers by it.

The rotation is yet to be set, but here is how it will look; Jeff Suppan, Yovani Gallardo, Manny Parra, Braden Looper, and Dave Bush.

Suppan is usually good for 10-plus wins. Parra pitched incredible for his first full season before falling off at the end of the season, but still posted 10 wins. Looper was an off-season acquisition and has posted 12-wins in each of the past two seasons. Bush has shown flashes of greatness and really came into his own during the final stretch last year. He won nine games last year and had 12 wins in each of the previous seasons before that. Finally, Gallardo has not seen a whole lot of time in the show but has already shown that he will be a future CY Young candidate. I personally believe he will be a candidate this year. The guy can do everything from pitching to hitting. He is a workhorse. Gallardo was not supposed to be back last season or playoffs. Not even close because of his injury. He trained so hard to make it back that he started the playoffs for the Brewers.

Imagine if the Brewers had a healthy Ben Sheets and Yovani Gallardo the entire season to go along with the CC Sabathia trade at midseason. Holy God that rotation would have been ridiculous. But, Ben Sheets is always injured and he will be out the entire year this year. Gallardo (who is much better and shouldn’t be injury prone) will basically take over for him and the Brewers will have a better rotation with the addition of Looper.

The pitching staff and the rotation in my opinion are just as good if not better going into the season than they were going into last season (well if Gallardo would have been hurt anyway, which he was pretty soon into the season). I think Milwaukee has a good shot at 85-90 wins this year, if healthy.

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