We’re less than a week away from my official start to spring: Opening Day for baseball! A lot of high expectations, hope, and excitement surrounding this Brewers team this year. But also, a few questions that maybe make some fans a little uncomfortable yet, regardless of the World Series expectations the Brewers have.
The questions that do surround the team are still the pitching. It was the main question at the beginning of spring training and it’s even more of a question now with some of the latest injuries with the team.
Let’s start with the bullpen. Bobby Wahl, who came over in the Keon Broxton trade with the Mets, was a hard throwing relief pitcher that was going to be on the big league roster until an ACL injury derailed his season. Then, Jeremy Jeffress suffered shoulder weakness which is delaying his start to the season. Now more recently, Corey Knebel has apparently suffered a UCL injury. Now, it doesn’t sound like it’s a complete tear and there’s a possibility he could avoid surgery. But that’s three relief pitchers now out for an extended period of time for the Brewers bullpen. No wonder the Brewers are rumored to be in on Craig Kimbrel. They need him for keep those World Series hopes alive.
Then there are the starters. I didn’t think Jimmy Nelson would be on the Opening Day roster at the start of spring training and he won’t be. But I am impressed with his work to get back. His speed is up there and his breaking ball is apparently wicked so far. There were a lot of questions and concerns about Nelson, but he looks to being close to returning to his old self.
We do know the initial first five starters to begin the season. Jhoulys Chacín, Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta, and Zach Davies will be the starters for the start of the season with Chase Anderson going to the bullpen. I completely agree with Craig Counsell’s decision. I am surprised they actually did this though. I thought they would still put Anderson in the rotation to start the season, but the Brewers went with the five best starters, regardless of age.
Brewers season prediction? Let’s go with first in the NL Central again. It’s going to be a close, entertaining, and probably frustrating battle at times. But the Brewers get it done again in the Central. Are they the best team in the NL? Two weeks ago they looked like it. The injuries now to the bullpen concern me. If they get Kimbrel, than I think they go back to being the best in the NL on paper.
March Madness is in full swing. How’s your bracket looking? Mines OK. I still have my teams making deep runs alive. For now.
I’ll be at the Final Four for the first time and I couldn’t be more excited. I know a lot of casual fans may be tired of Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, and other blue blood programs. But I am really hoping to see a Duke and North Carolina final. That atmosphere would be absolutely ELECTRIC. That’s my dream matchup to see in person at that stage.
The Packers lost two future Packer Hall of Famers this week in Clay Matthews and Randall Cobb. While many Packers fans will have to buy new jersey’s this year (I suggest Jaire Alexander and Kenny Clark), and it will be strange to not see those two players run out of the Lambeau tunnel, it was time to move on. Brian Gutekunst is not in the business of making feel good decisions and keeping fan favorites. He has to build a winner and a winner now. For entering his second year as general manager, he has had to say goodbye to Matthews, Cobb, and Jordy Nelson. All fan favorites. He may get some flack, but it’s evident he’s all about the winning.
Check out the latest Man Cave Football podcast episode. NFL Network/The Athletic’s Ben Fennell joins me to talk Packers, NFL Draft, Mike Mayock, and a lot more topics.
So, what will I be doing for the NFL Draft? Many of you have asked and here are some details.
Wednesday, April 24th from 3p-6p, I’ll be at Milwaukee Burger Company in Eau Claire for a tweetup. What’s a tweetup? It’s a fancy word for a get together. So, let’s get together and talk about the NFL Draft. What should the Packers do and anything else that’s on your football minds.
Then on Thursday, April 25th, for the first round of the draft, I will be doing a LIVE web show during the draft. Coverage kicks off at 6:30. So, while you’re watching the draft, grab another TV, your computer, or phone and watch my web show at the same time for instant commentary and analysis. And you can join in on the conversation as well! I’ll have a couple of guests with me and the show will be broadcasted on Facebook and Twitter!
That’s it for this week! Enjoy some hoops action!