Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Hardball Times: Five Questions for Milwaukee Brewers

Nice little write up offering hope and reality for fans of the Crew.

J.J. Hardy is the most likely of the three to make an impact in the major
leagues this season. Hardy held had an excellent offensive season in Double-A
while only 21, and was hitting well in Triple-A last season before suffering a
labrum injury in retribution for the Richie Sexson trade. While there's no
reason to doubt Hardy's ability to make contact, his success will depend on
whether he can import his outstanding walk from 2003 and whether the solid power
he's displayed in the minor leagues will carry over despite his shoulder
problems. If Hardy shows no lingering effects from the injury, his offensive
projection is comfortably above average for a major league shortstop. On top of
that, Hardy has drawn rave reviews for his defense, so his margin for error with
the bat is a little greater.

But if everyone lives up to expectations, Brady Clark manages to repeat his
2004, Geoff Jenkins stays healthy, Russ Branyan reaches base often enough to be
productive, the Brewers aren't affected by their lack of depth, and the bullpen
finds itself performing capably, they've got a reasonable if distant shot at
making the playoffs. In any event, they've got a good chance of breaking
the elusive .500 threshold.

The Brewers have what it takes and are finally moving in the right
direction, but they're going to need a lot more hard work and at least a little
luck to become a perennial contender. Their strategy of developing outstanding
young talent, finding decent fill-ins at the major league level, and stocking
the organization with quality coaching and managerial staff should soon pay
dividends, if it isn't already.

I'm skeptical, as Mr. Meeghan spends most of the article breaking down the Crew, then says they have an outside playoff shot?

Why do I always let them do this to me...