Rickie Weeks, an all-star in 2011, started the season in a slump that carried through almost the entire season. Randy Wolf performed with a degree of mediocrity that saw his release near season's end. The bullpen absolutely erupted, posting an MLB worst 4.66 ERA and 29 blown saves. Axford temporarily lost his closing role to Jim Henderson. K-Rod's heyday looked like a distant memory as well, proving to be absolutely hittable, posting career worst 4.38 ERA. The Crew did have a late season surge of relative competence but it proved too little too late, and they lost their Wild Card hopes to their nemesis Cardinals.
|LHP Tom Gorzelanny with his pitching face|
The bullpen overhaul is essentially complete, so problem solved, right? Not even close. After 2012 saw the release of Randy Wolf, trading of Zack Greinke and free agency of Shaun Marcum, the Brewers starting rotation was stripped. The only definite starter left is Yovani Gallardo, followed by a slew of young talent competing for various slots. Also indefinite and by no means complete is the Brewers' bench. It could be said that this type of inaction is a reasonable way to cut down on spending that hasn't resulted in a championship, but it could also be said that the Brewers front office is behaving like they completely oblivious to the fact that they have a window of potential right now that isn't getting the support it needs to stay propped open. I abide by the latter notion.
|Is the untested Michael Fiers up for the challenge|
of a full year in the bigs?
Just because Milwaukee's pen was the biggest problem Milwaukee faced last year doesn't mean that it's the only hole they should fill. I know that there are constraints that come with being a middle market team and that you can't acquire every major talent free agent that comes around, but that's not what it would take to make the Brewers viable contenders in 2013. The Brewers are probably going to be good, but extremely fragile. If one young arm gets injured or under-performs, what are they going to do to replace them? Given Milwaukee's pretty modest depth the only resource they could have tapped in to enhance their armory is the free agent market, and every signing that goes elsewhere makes that pool a little thinner.
|GM Doug Melvin's Ron Swanson lookin' ass.|