SportsPickle is previewing each MLB team in the lead up to Opening Day 2010. Today:Milwaukee Brewers(2009: 80-82, 3rd in NL Central)
STARTING PITCHING The Brewers have strikeout pitcher Yovani Gallardo, but the rest of the rotation struggled mightily last year and kept Milwaukee from making consecutive playoff appearances. So general manager Doug Melvin made acquiring pitching the priority in the offseason and signed 33-year-old soft-tosser Randy Wolf, who has won more than 9 games once in the past six seasons. Sorry, Melvin. But you're still two wolves short of working baseball magic.
LINEUP Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun form the most productive left-right combo in baseball. They combined to drive in 255 runs last season, the most of any tandem in baseball. But while Braun and Fielder are only in their mid-20s, the window of opportunity won't stay open forever. Consider: Fielder is morbidly obese and likely won't have a long career. And even if he does, he's likely to get jammed in the window of opportunity when he tries to crawl through it.
BULLPEN The Brewers brought in 37-year-old LaTroy Hawkins to help stabilize a shaky bullpen. And why not? Milwaukee had success last year with the acquisition of 43-year-old Trevor Hoffmanwho went on to have one of the best seasons of his career. Perhaps Rollie Fingers still has something left. His mustache sure looks like it's still in its prime.
BENCH Gregg Zaun, Jody Gerut, and Craig Counsellprovide veteran leadership. But apparently not enough, because the Brewers also brought in 40-year-old Jim Edmonds, who didn't even play in 2009. Maybe Trevor Hoffman demanded the Brewers sign someone who would get all of his '70s references.
OVERALL All of the veteran acquisitions mean the Brewers expect to compete for a title now. But that's unlikely with their pitching. Oh well. At least Prince Fielder does cool celebrations when he hits home runs. That makes losing fun!