This was our one and only trip to see Milwaukee and Colorado and we got a good look at both teams as Spring Training is starting to wind down.
Those scrutinizing the MLB odds are making final adjustments.
These last nine or 10 days is a perfect time to see the various teams as starters play longer into games and starting pitchers look to build arm strength with more innings of work.
The vast majority of MLB handicappers and sportsbooks are not calling for winning seasons from either team and another long season could be in the works for each.
Here is what we thought coming into the season our impressions from today.
Milwaukee – Projected Win Total 79 wins – 4th in the NL Central
The Brewers were impressive in spring training a year ago and that confidence spilled over into April when they started 20-8. Milwaukee was a surprise NL Central Division leader most of the season, though they were basically a .500 club the next 3½ months. A four-game winning streak, just past the middle of August gave the appearance the Brew Crew was ready to ascend and instead they totally collapsed in dropping 13 of 16 and finishing 82-80.
While injuries played their part, anyone following the Brewers and issuing MLB picks saw a team wear down across the board in all phases to seal their fate. In particular Aramis Ramirez, Jonathon LuCroy and Ryan Braun’s bad thumb all played part in Milwaukee’s demise. In the offseason, Milwaukee addressed the weak first base situation, but nobody is convinced Adam Lind is a real solution, except when facing right-handed pitchers.
If manager Ron Roenicke is able to successfully move 2B Scooter Gennett to leadoff, this could shift CF Carlos Gomez to a more productive five-slot in the batting order and the offense could pick up.
Though Yovani Gallardo fastball had slipped, his departure to Texas leaves Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse as the top of the rotation pitcher, not exactly mimicking the Nationals. There is plenty to like about Wily Peralta and Mike Fiers, but overall, the group is slightly above average.
Jonathan Broxton, Frank Rodriquez and Will Smith give the appearance of an adequate bullpen, but the first two on this list have an ample amount of gremlins based on the past.
Like last season, if all goes well, Milwaukee is capable of 84-85 victories. But that is more hope and more likely they are a 76-to 80 wins outfit for MLB odds makers.
Game Notes: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Colorado Rockies
The Milwaukee offense was held to six hits and never came close to really generating an inning. Starter Tyler Thornberg is probably headed to long reliever and threw four innings of two-hit, four-strikeout ball and made one bad miscue with Arenado.
Relief pitchers Neil Cotts and Brandon Kintzler were ineffective in conceding two runs, two walks and two runs in two-thirds of an inning each.
Also, non-roster invitee and veteran Chris Perez threw an inning and had the bases loaded but escaped unharmed.