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Wed, February 12, 2014

Hump Day List: Most important Brewers in 2014

Here are the Brewers that I think need to have a big year in order for the team to compete in 2014.

5.) SS Jean Segura – After an all-star start to his Brewer career, the team was kicking the tires on an extension showing just how big he is to the future of the team.  Those talks cooled down as Segura did in the 2nd half.  Who is the real Jean Segura?  Hopefully that comes to light in 2014.  There have been many “flashes in the pan” in the Melvin era in Milwaukee and SS has not been his best position.  A strong year by Segura could settle things down and give the team options with a couple of prospects down the pipeline to bolster other positions.

4.) RP Jim Henderson – The day of the “Closer” in baseball is shrinking.  We are seeing the life span of individuals at the back of the bullpen getting shorter and shorter.  Any long term success that a team can get with a closer now is such a bonus.  If Henderson can close out the year in that spot, it may mean a few more wins than the plethora of teams who play musical closer.

3.) SP Matt Garza – There are two reasons why I put Garza on this list and not Lohse.  The first is that Garza is coming off back-to-back seasons where injuries have cut into his season.  The difference (potentially) between Garza and who would take his spot is significant enough that another injury would be felt.  The second reason is how long he is here.  If Lohse slides, his deal is up after next year making it easier to cut the cord.  If Garza slides, he is in Milwaukee until 2017.  He needs to produce.

2.) OF Ryan Braun – I talked about him a few times on the show the last month as the season draws near, so does the realization that Braun is back and his success will coincide with the Brewers success.  For all the fan talk about trading him, the fact is, you need players like Braun on your roster to compete in today’s league.  It’s not that you have to like/respect him, but the first time he contributes to a win will be a weird feeling for Brewer fans.  Braun doesn’t need to put up his MVP numbers, but he has to be at least 75% of that.  If he tanks, for whatever reason, it will be tough for the team to dig out.

1.) SP Yovani Gallardo – This is the same answer I have had the last couple years.  As Yovani has gone the last few seasons, so has the team.  In 2011, His 3.52 era, 1.215 whip, & 3.51 K/BB ratio were all career highs.  In 2012, his slow start mirrored that of team and his 2nd half spurt coincided with the team’s late push.  2013 was his worse year and the team’s output coincided.  Obviously, Garza and Lohse will be key, but Yo has to be great.

If you want to vote, I put the poll question up on our Home Page.  Thanks!

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