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What Many Brewers Fans May Think, But Dare Not Say (Yet)


Mass Haas

Via Dave Cameron's Fangraphs full article --

 

"The Brewers have a real chance to be terrible.

 

I promise I believed this before they got destroyed by Colorado on Opening Day, and this isn’t a reaction to the beating they took yesterday. But among the 25 or so teams who are projected to at least be respectable in 2015, Milwaukee is the one that I think could just completely fall apart. As I mentioned in the division preview, this is a team with zero depth, so their 77 win projection is based on full seasons of their frontline players; that’s not a reasonable expectation, and the second-line players are almost uniformly awful.

 

The Brewers have no margin for error, especially in the rotation, where their options to replace a struggling or injured starter are all replacement level scrubs. With Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza on the wrong side of 30, and Mike Fiers and Jimmy Nelson on the wrong side of reliable, this is a rotation that seems likely to need multiple fill-ins throughout the year. But there just aren’t any real options, and if Lohse hits a wall — he’s 36 and playing the weak-contact game, which is a dangerous way to live — at the same time that Fiers’ arm starts barking again, they’re going to be in serious trouble.

 

The NL Central is not going to be an easy division this year, and unless their offense leads the league in runs scored, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Brewers won 67 games instead of 77."

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If this teams only wins 67 games then the entire team got hurt. Come on. This is basically the same squad that was in first place for an entire season a year ago and players like Segura, Gennett, Davis should get better just based on being a year older. Yes this team could fall a part but so could a lot of teams including each and every team in our division.
"This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains." Think about that for a while.
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I would say it. It's hard to disagree with any of it. I picked them to finish 4th in the division ahead of only the Reds but it wouldn't shock me if the bottom completely fell out and we finished last with 65-70 wins.
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I think this article assumes the worst for the Brewers, meaning the following:

 

*Braun is done as a superstar and is merely average

*Ramirez is done. Period.

*Gomez reverts to the pre-2013 Gomez

*Segura is who he has been for the past year and a half

*Scooter cannot hit LHP and hits .260 as a full time player

*Lind cannot stay healthy

*Lohse is done. Period.

*Fiers is a fluke

*Nelson is not ready to be an everyday #5

 

All of these things occur and yes the Brewers are a 65-70 win team. The article is correct in stating that there is no real depth. If Jimenez, Clark or Rogers have to play for an extended period for an injured Ramirez or Lind, or we see a ton of a Schafer-Gomez-Parra OF then sure. But I think this article is a worst case scenario, gloom and doom piece.

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If this teams only wins 67 games then the entire team got hurt. Come on. This is basically the same squad that was in first place for an entire season a year ago and players like Segura, Gennett, Davis should get better just based on being a year older. Yes this team could fall a part but so could a lot of teams including each and every team in our division.

 

Davis is 27 and in his prime. The chances of him getting better are slim.

 

Gennett seems the same as Davis, what is he going to improve on that makes him much more valuable? And now he doesn't have a platoon partner which he'll very likely need. I have a hard time seeing the Brewers improving on the .283/.334/.441 line they got from 2B last year.

 

Segura might improve closer to what he was in 2013 but that's far from a certainty.

 

And as was said in the blurb. Lohse is 36. We have to accept the fact that he might be done. Garza hasn't pitched 200 innings since 2010. You can probably count on him missing at least a couple starts. Who knows what we get out of Fiers and Nelson. If either of them struggle or someone gets hurt our lack of options in the minors is completely underwhelming or worse.

 

So 67 wins is definitely a possibility even if the team stays relatively healthy. And the bad taste the offense left in our mouths at the end of last year certainly didn't make us feel any better with their display yesterday.

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I think this line of thinking is said but usually in the JS comments or reactionary calls to postgame shows. But yeah there is certainly cause for concern and valid reasons to believe this will be a really bad year. But, on the flip side if certain assumptions are made they could be a playoff team. I am really having a hard time figuring out how this season will play out.
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I don't think it is any secret to Brewers fans that they could easily be 4th or 5th in the division....but I could see them grabbing a wild card spot too.

 

Really just a poor analysis...this could go for every team that exists. Any team could under perform by ten wins or over perform by ten. In other news a stove is hot if you light it and it is hard to walk on your leg if you break it.

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I don't buy the lack of depth argument. They aren't tied to the guys who are currently on the bench being regulars if a starter goes down. They could and probably would go out and get a better option from elsewhere. There are also 3 guys in AAA that if they perform well enough, could be viable options to bring up just as they did with Gennett and Davis two years ago. That's Rogers, Sardinas, and Clark.

 

All looked a lot bleaker in July 2013, and they played around .500 after Braun went down. They have one of the premier catchers in the game in Lucroy who's in his prime. I think Davis can get better too and I'm not pessimistic on Gennett at all.

 

If Lohse is completely done, and I doubt that as he's had really bad outings before, Thornburg has had success starting in this league albeit over just slightly more than a handful of starts. Other guys at AA and AAA will have opportunities too.

 

Sure if a bunch of key regulars go down, they can become this year's version of the 2014 Rangers. But that's true of any team.

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For cripes sake; we have too much offensive talent to all of a sudden become the Astros or Cubs of several years ago. We can have some injuries and underperformance and still win 75 games. I think basically everything would need to go wrong for this team to lose more than 70. Of course with a caveat being if they decide to sell in July and gut the team then I suppose they could really be terrible in the 2nd half.

 

This team at least in my opinion is far more likely to win 85 games than 70 games.

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Unless we have injuries like Texas had last year - or a fire sale - I don't think we will drop to as few as 67 wins.

 

I believe this to be an average team. I figure around 81-81 (average!). If things go well, you win 5-10 more games. If things go badly, you lose 5-10 more games. So if we really bottomed out, I could see us in the lower 70s for wins. If you have a Rangers-style collapse, 67 wins is possible. But that's a pretty epic tanking.

 

There's little margin for error for Milwaukee. A lot of things need to go right to win. This is how this team has been built for the last few years.

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You don't need to worry about Braun, ARam, Segura, Davis or any other position player. They could out-perform, or severely under-perform, either way it won't matter if the pitching staff completely implodes, and that is a very real possibility. If they have the highest ERA in the NL, they don't have enough offense, even at their best, to make up for that.
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It honestly wouldn't be the worst thing for this organization not be good this year. It seems as though we are always in this eh...we are good enough to make a run at the playoffs come the all-star break and I think it ends up hurting us more than anything. I don't think we can compete with the Central this year, even with everything going our way this year I think it would be a stretch for a WC, that said might be nice to have somewhat of a fire sale come the all-star break.
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I believe this to be an average team. I figure around 81-81 (average!). If things go well, you win 5-10 more games. If things go badly, you lose 5-10 more games. So if we really bottomed out, I could see us in the lower 70s for wins. If you have a Rangers-style collapse, 67 wins is possible. But that's a pretty epic tanking.

 

You're basically saying the difference between things going badly and "pretty epic tanking" is 4-6 games. That's pretty ridiculous and it shows that the writer isn't as far off as some seem to think he is.

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I believe this to be an average team. I figure around 81-81 (average!). If things go well, you win 5-10 more games. If things go badly, you lose 5-10 more games. So if we really bottomed out, I could see us in the lower 70s for wins. If you have a Rangers-style collapse, 67 wins is possible. But that's a pretty epic tanking.

 

You're basically saying the difference between things going badly and "pretty epic tanking" is 4-6 games. That's pretty ridiculous and it shows that the writer isn't as far off as some seem to think he is.

 

The problem is the fact he isn't really mentioning some ground breaking information. If "insert 10% of the team" does bad they could really suck. Every team has risky players, injury prone players, and everything in between. I could make the same comment about any team before the season.

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I'm going to give it at least a week - probably longer - before hitting the panic button.

 

It's not panic. Many posters predicted a season under .500 before the season started. So it stands to reason there's small margin of error between a bad season and horrible season.

 

None of that is based on one game, or even a week. They simply need a whole lot of things to go right to be above .500, and not that much to go wrong to be well under .500

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I believe this to be an average team. I figure around 81-81 (average!). If things go well, you win 5-10 more games. If things go badly, you lose 5-10 more games. So if we really bottomed out, I could see us in the lower 70s for wins. If you have a Rangers-style collapse, 67 wins is possible. But that's a pretty epic tanking.

 

You're basically saying the difference between things going badly and "pretty epic tanking" is 4-6 games. That's pretty ridiculous and it shows that the writer isn't as far off as some seem to think he is.

I think that if you bring back pretty much the same team as last year, the record won't change that much. To play the same guys and lose 15 more games than the year before is pretty horrible. Perhaps not an epic collapse (Texas, after all, lost something like 20-25 more games than in 2013), but still pretty awful.

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This is all based upon Fangraph's weird playtime projections. It has Logan Schaffer getting 200 + PAs. It has Parra never playing CF and still getting as many PAs as Davis. It has Lucory getting 100 fewer PAs this year than last despite playing 1B. If pretends Clark and Rogers don't exist for the most part.
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Gomez and Lucroy really hold this team together at this point. As long as those 2 guys are healthy and no fire sale around them we'll be competent.
I tried to log in on my iPad. Turns out it was an etch-a-sketch and I don't own an iPad. Also, I'm out of vodka.
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I really can't get the pulse of this team yet. I said it at our Winter Meetings gathering, but I feel this team is either going to be really good or really terrible, but I'm not sure which way they'll go yet. It's so hard to gauge them after last season weirdness.

 

Let's just all remember they've only played one single game and it's not exactly time to panic yet.

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We have a lot of unknowns. Unknowns by definition cannot be judged as good or bad. In all likelihood some will turn out well others not. When I look at the sheer number of unknowns that have to go right to be a contender I think it would take a pretty amazing year for it to happen. When I look at the sheer number of unknowns that have to go wrong to be horrible I think it would take a pretty amazing amount of misfortune for it to happen.

What I do know is I am truly interested to see how all those unknowns turn out.

There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.
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I think this article assumes the worst for the Brewers, meaning the following:

 

*Braun is done as a superstar and is merely average

*Ramirez is done. Period.

*Gomez reverts to the pre-2013 Gomez

*Segura is who he has been for the past year and a half

*Scooter cannot hit LHP and hits .260 as a full time player

*Lind cannot stay healthy

*Lohse is done. Period.

*Fiers is a fluke

*Nelson is not ready to be an everyday #5

 

All of those things could easily be true. It really wouldn't be shocking if they were. I hope none are true but I think at least half probably are. It is really easy seeing the Brewers win between 70 and 85 games.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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Laugh out Loud. And what if Jake Arrieta isn't the SP he was last season. Kyle Hendriks performs as bad as Jimmy Nelson is being concerned? After Jon Lester, doesn't that make the Cubs a 67 win team too?

 

Look facing the Rockies for the opening series when that team offensively is 100% healthy? Who wants to? Tulo is maybe the best hitter in the NL...when healthy. Carlos Gonzalez can be top 15 hitter in all of the NL...when healthy. Nolan Arenado is likely making his way to being either the best or 2nd best 3b in the NL. Morneau is a former AL MVP that has head problems keeping him from being healthy or 100% at the plate. Looks to me like All-Stars who've had an offseason since June last season are starting off this year (like many before) hot. Screw the schedulers for giving Milw this 3 game series. It's a death-trap that is playing out.

2014: 22-14 finished with 66wins

2013: 18-12/27-21 finished with 74wins

2012: 12-12 finished with 64wins

2011:18-10 finished with 73wins

2010: won 83games Carlos Gonzalez first full season.

 

Colorado's offense when the offensive players are healthy are truly among the best. This start shouldn't be shocking. They will put up crooked numbers Such as 5IP 11hits 5ERs by the best SP Clayton Kershaw. And that was Sept of 2013.

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Laugh out Loud. And what if Jake Arrieta isn't the SP he was last season. Kyle Hendriks performs as bad as Jimmy Nelson is being concerned? After Jon Lester, doesn't that make the Cubs a 67 win team too?

 

He's looking at teams that people consider a playoff contender. The Cubs are looked at kind of the opposite of the Brewers:

 

The Brewers are "They were at the top of the division last year and have roughly the same roster, so they could be a playoff team, but if a few things go wrong it could be disaster and the start of a long downfall"

 

While the Cubs are "They have sucked for years and will probably be near the bottom of the division again this year, but they have some great young talent and if things go right it could be a winning season and the start of a string of many good seasons."

 

I don't think people should look too far into this. The author basically made fun of himself and said these aren't likely. But, I don't think it's wrong to target the Brewers as the team among this year's pre-season "favorites" to be the one to falter.

"The most successful (people) know that performance over the long haul is what counts. If you can seize the day, great. But never forget that there are days yet to come."

 

~Bill Walsh

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