Brewers offseason additions have columnist thinking World Series title
March 24, 2011
There is a buzz around the Milwaukee Brewers’ clubhouse. A buzz filled with optimism and hope as the start of a new season is just days away. With key offseason additions, new manager Ron Roenicke, and three returning all-stars, the Brewers may be favored to win the National League Central in 2011. How these offseason additions fill in will be key in the race to a division and potential World Series title; something that has yet to be done in Brewers history.
After finishing 14 out of the 16 National League teams in team earned run average, it was obvious that changes had to be made to the pitching staff that had a 4.58 ERA. Only Arizona and Pittsburgh finished worst. The key offseason move was the accusation of the 2009 A.L. Cy Young winner Zack Greinke. Greinke comes to the Brewers from a trade with the lowly Kansas City Royals. Last season, he posted a
10-14 record and a 4.17 ERA. While those numbers would make him a third or even fourth starter on most contending clubs, the Brewers are hoping that Greinke can post numbers closer to his Cy Young days, when he went 16-8 with an outstanding 2.16 ERA. Unfortunately for the Brewers, Greinke will not be the Opening Day starter as he broke his ribs while playing pick-up basketball on March 8. The Brewers are hoping he can return around the middle of April.
When the Brewers take on 2010 N.L. Central division champion Cincinnati Reds on March 31 in Cincinnati to open the 2011 season, they will send all-star and last year’s ace Yovani Gallardo to toe the rubber.
Gallardo led the Brewers’ staff last season with a 14-7 record and a 3.84 era. Joining the improved Brewers’ pitching staff is Sean Marcum. Marcum comes to the Brewers from Toronto, where he finished the 2010 season with a 13-8 record and a 3.64 ERA. These stats are certainly impressive considering that Marcum went up primarily against the American League East which includes the Yankees, Rays and Red Sox. However, Marcum is coming off a shoulder injury he suffered during Spring Training. But Marcum has ensured Roenicke that he should be ready to go at the season’s start.
While the pitching staff is anchored down, the Brewers will also be expecting big things from the face of the franchise Ryan Braun. Braun, along with Prince Fielder and Corey Hart provide the meat of the lineup which finished fourth in the NL in batting average, .262. The Reds meanwhile, led the NL in hitting at .272. Braun led the Brewers with a .304 average, with 25 home runs and 103 RBIs.
With the 2011 Major League Baseball season is just around the corner, the Brewers are ready to step out of the shadows of Albert Pujols and the Cardinals, and Joey Votto and the Reds. With an improved pitching staff and a potent heart of the lineup, the Brewers may be poised to make a date with history and accomplish something that hasn’t been done in Brewers’ history: a World Series title.
Ashley Goettl is an alumna of UW-River Falls. She was editor of the Student Voice from fall semester 2011 to spring semester 2013.