Monday, April 4, 2011

A Few More Reasons for Optimism in 2011

It took me six hours to come up with two reasons to feel good after the last four games, but here we go:

Doug Melvin: Quite simply, owner Mark Attanasio is expecting more out of Melvin (he's the General Manager, kids) than one Wild Card in 9 years, and if the 2011 club falters, it's likely the "rebuilding" of the club won't occur under Melvin's watch. The front office knows this, which probably was part of the reason behind the desicion to go out and trade away what was left of the minor league system to acquire Greinke and Marcum. In a couple of months, if the team is even remotely in the playoff race, expect for Melvin and Co. to again do whatever they can to round up the reliever or shortstop they need, even if they don't have the pieces to pull off a Sabathia-type deal.

The Bullpen: The Brewers could be 2-2 right now if not for some, um, shaky relief appearances. But help may be on the way. Mark Rogers and Mike McClendon will begin the season in Triple-A Nashville, though both of them pitched well in limited big-league looks last year. Rogers could potentially dominate, as his post-shoulder surgery fastball reached the upper 90s in shorter stints last year, and McClendon showed enough to be an effective middle man. John Axford's 2010 could very well be an outlier, and 40 year old setup men don't carry a brilliant track record, but the Brewers, with two more than servicable bullpen arms biding time in Nashville, and another hard thrower (Zach Braddock) waiting in the wings, the bullpen could go from a steroid-enlarged thorn in the club's side to a young, exciting unit ready to provide cost-effective innings for years to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment