Like the City of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Brewers are in the midst of a major rebuilding program and are very optimistic about the outlook.
As owner Mark Attanasio put it, “This is the youngest team we’ve had. So we’re really going in the right direction. There’s a group of guys who are going to be part of this next push and who are going to be part of the next playoff team, and that’s exciting.”
For the second year, the Brew Crew opens up at home, this year versus the Colorado Rockies on April 3 in Miller Park. Fans will be greeted by some new faces:
First baseman Eric Thames is sure to provide some power and veteran leadership, always important for a young team. Replacing slugger Chris Carter, Thames is expected to provide the pop in his bat that he showed in Korea the past few years.
Travis Shaw, 26, was acquired in the offseason from Boston. He is in the prime of his career and should capably fill the hole at third base and provide a strong left-handed bat.
Jonathan Villar, 25, is focused on having another strong season, this year at second base and as leadoff hitter, while Hernán Pérez becomes a versatile piece on the roster, playing wherever he is needed. Catcher Martín Maldonado was dealt in December for Jett Bandy. Bandy, Andrew Susac and Manny Piña are all competing for the catcher role.
Slick-fielding shortstop Orlando Arcia, 22, is expected to build upon the success that he experienced at the end of last season. Keon Broxton, 26, Domingo Santana, 24, and veteran All-Star Ryan Braun are most likely to be in the outfield. The first two have shown streaks of potential and are looking for breakout years, while Braun provides leadership to his younger peers.
Junior Guerra and Zach Davies, a ripe 24, are two starters who are expected to build off strong rookie seasons and anchor the pitching rotation this year. At least five other pitchers are competing for a starting spot. Neftalí Feliz, another new face, is expected to be the Brewers’ new closer.
Expect General Manager David Stearns to add even more new young faces from the Brewers’ highly-rated farm system as he strategizes for the long-term success of the organization.