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2014 San Francisco Gameday HQ

FIELDING No team in the National League committed more errors last season than the Brewers. That should change this year. Last year, 85 errors came on the infield, with 20 miscues committed at first base, where the Brewers played without Corey Hart all year. Hart is now a Seattle Mariner and Reynolds, more of an offensive contributor, and Lyle Overbay take over at first. Scooter Gennett is an improvement over Rickie Weeks at second, improving the Brewers up the middle, where Gomez, a Gold Glover, Segura and Lucroy are solid. Davis is an improvement in left over Braun, who moves to right, replacing traded Norichika Aoki. A healthy Ramirez will cut down on errors at third. STARTING PITCHING Milwaukee is hoping for more consistency from its rotation after a Jekyll-and-Hyde 2013. Ace Yovani Gallardo, in the final year of his contract, has something to prove after winning 12 games and pitching 180 2/3 innings — both career-lows — with a career-high 4.18 ERA. Offseason pickup Matt Garza (4-5, 4.38 with Texas) adds experience, but hasn’t been the most durable of pitchers, with past elbow issues. Last off-season’s key signing, Kyle Lohse was durable (32 starts) and among league-leaders in walks/9 IP (1.6). Six-year pro Marco Estrada will try to build off his final two months (3-0, with a 2.15 ERA), and highly touted young righty Wily Peralta (24) needs to improve his control. RELIEF PITCHING The Brewers had one of the NL’s best bullpens, if you go by ERA (3.19, third) and opponents’ on-base percentage (.307, fourth), but one of the worst according to hits allowed (407, fourth-most), home runs allowed (55, tied for second-most) and blown saves (23, third-most). They’ll count on Jim Henderson to put out fires in the ninth. The 31-year-old, third-year pro, originally drafted by the Montreal Expos in 2006, had more strikeouts (75) than hits allowed (44) in 60 innings, and converted 28 of 32 save opportunities, closing 18 of his last 19. Brandon Kintzler, who didn’t allow an ER in his final nine appearances, and rookie Rob Wooten will see a lot of action, as will Will Smith, acquired for Aoki, and Francisco Rodriguez. MANAGING Ron Roenicke is in the final season of his contract (there’s a team option for 2015), and while the Brewers’ win totals have gone down each of the last two seasons, he’s been granted a mulligan of sorts for 2013, which has been written off as “one of those years.” A players’ manager, he’s three years removed from a franchise-best 96-win season, in which his team won the Central and reached the NLCS. GM Doug Melvin, who has quietly lasted 11 years in Milwaukee, has two years left on his contract, and believes he’s upgraded enough to at least get back over .500 and, if things go right, stick around in the division race. Ryan Braun CHRISTIAN PETERSEN/GETTY IMAGES SPORT


2014 San Francisco Gameday HQ
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