Originally written on The Victory Formation  |  Last updated 3/27/12

Ah, Nyjer Morgan (or Tony Plush, depending on how he’s feeling at the time of day). One could say he was the sparkplug of the of the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers, giving them the shot in the arm to win the NL Central Division for the first time in the team’s history. After that monumental feat, they went on to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks in 5 games (thank goodness for the Brew Crew’s stellar home record). In the NLCS, the wheels came off, and the Brewers were defeated four games to two by the eventual World Series champion St Louis Cardinals. Their previously quality starting pitching ceased, and the immaturity of some of the players showed on the field.
The 2012 offseason has not been kind to the Brewers, with the loss of key players Mark Kotsay, Craig Counsell and Jerry Harriston. Most importantly, they team finally lost Price Fielder to free agency to the Detroit Tigers. To help replace (and improve the defense) the team signed 3RB Aramis Ramirez and SS Alex Gonzalez (with Ramirez hopefully picking up some of the offensive production due to Fielder’s signing elsewhere. Set-up pitcher K-Rod also resigned with the team instead of trying to find a closers position elsewhere.
Other than these moves, there was little major turnover in the Brew Crew’s starting roster. Their five top starters are with the team for at least one more year, and the bullpen had little turnover as well.
With a solid young team (who have another year of major league service under their belts), and 4 other teams that have various issues (The Reds being the one team who are in OK shape), I can see the Brewers fighting for the NL Central crown (and if not that, the wild card). I don’t think they’ll do as well as last year, but a record of at least 90-72 is likely.


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