Originally posted on Brewers Bar  |  Last updated 2/28/12
Let the Countdown to games being as we now stand 5 days shy of the 1st game of Spring Training against the San Francisco Giants.  I've avoided talking much about what the Brewers lineup and fielding will look like because we knew so little about what would happen to Braunie.  Well now we know and it's as good a time as any to try and construct what a potential Brewers lineup could look before a pitch is even thrown against the 2012 Brewers.

The easier of the two lineups to come up with is vs. Right Handed pitchers and that's because Nyjer Morgan is a far better hitter against Righties than Carlos Gomez.  Some have wondered how the Brewers would use Braun without Prince hitting behind him, but Ron Roenicke has made his intentions quite clear on that matter.  So here is what I think you'll see the lineup look like.

vs. Right Handers:

1. Rickie Weeks 2B
2. Nyjer Morgan CF
3. Ryan Braun LF
4. Aramis Ramirez 3B
5. Corey Hart RF
6. Matt Gamel 1B
7. Alex Gonzalez SS
8. Jonathan Lucroy C
9. Pitcher 

The only spots I see changing involve Matt Gamel, Corey Hart, and Nyjer Morgan.  I went with Morgan in the 2nd spot because he's more valuable as a potential baserunner in front of Braun and Ramirez than a guy like Hart.  Morgan's speed and willingness to run are just two more things for a pitcher to think about while going against one of the best hitters in the game in Braun.  

I see Gamel as the 6th hitter right now because he just hasn't proven he can be that guy who's capable of being dangerous at the MLB level yet and you need that behind Ramirez.  Hart on the other hand has the capability to punish pitchers at an alarming rate with the long ball so pitching around Ramirez to get to him isn't as easy a decision as it is with Gamel right now.  That cold be subject to change though should Gamel produce big numbers in Spring Training, but having those two produce out of the gate only makes this team stronger against right handed pitching.  

Honestly that was the easy lineup to predict.  Now comes the fun of trying to figure out a lineup against Lefties.  We all know there is most likely a platoon in Center Field at work again in 2012 as the Brewers give Gomez one last shot to show he's got what it takes to earn a job at the Major League level.  So here is my crack at what the lineup will look like: 

vs. Left Handers: 

1. Rickie Weeks 2B
2. Corey Hart RF
3. Ryan Braun LF
4. Aramis Ramirez 3B
5. Matt Gamel 1B
6. Carlos Gomez CF
7. Alex Gonzalez SS
8. Jonathon Lucroy C
9. Pitcher

Now if you are one of those that adheres to Sabermetrics this lineup isn't for you because hitting Gomez 6th doesn't fit into that model.  As much as I love stats I also love players that can pass the eye test and frankly I have yet to Gomez as someone that I can trust in the 2nd spot over the less mistake prone Hart behind Weeks.  True you aren't spreading out the hitting much, but Gomez's lack of consistency at the plate, other than bunting which he's got a 39.7% hit rate and his sometimes boneheaded base running is something I'd rather live with at the bottom of the order than in front of the two best hitters.  Call me old fashioned if you want.  

The one person that really could be intriguing to see over Spring Training and could potentially throw a monkey wrench into both lineups is Norichika Aoki.  He's the one player that is a total unknown and if the former Japanese batting champion's comparisons to Ichiro are true you have to find a way to get him into the lineup more often than not and perhaps his role to start off is as a late inning pinch hitter for Gomez. 

** On a side note if your a Brewers fan it appears that your "Bags Fly Free" as Southwest Airlines announced yesterday that they are the official airline partner of the Brewers.

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