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2014 Outlook: Milwaukee Brewers

Jan 21, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

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2013 record: 74-88, 4th place in NL Central
Manager: Ron Roenicke, 4th season
Estimated 2014 payroll: $83 million
Key additions: 1B/3B Mark Reynolds, LHP Will Smith
Key losses: OF Norichika Aoki, 1B/OF Corey Hart, 1B/3B, Yuniesky Betancourt, LHP Mike Gonzalez

Projected lineup
SS Jean Segura
2B Scooter Gennett
RF Ryan Braun
3B Aramis Ramirez
C Jonathan Lucroy
CF Carlos Gomez
1B Juan Francisco
LF Khris Davis

Projected rotation
RHP Yovani Gallardo
RHP Kyle Lohse
RHP Marco Estrada
RHP Wily Peralta
RHP Tyler Thornburg

Top relievers
CL Jim Henderson
RHP Brandon Kintzler
RHP Rob Wooten

Biggest questions entering 2014
1. Can Ryan Braun make a smooth transition back from suspension? Before all of baseball’s venom was thrust upon Alex Rodriguez, it was squarely on Braun’s shoulders. The former NL MVP served a 65-game suspension to end the season; now he returns to unprecedented scrutiny. How will Milwaukee fans welcome him back? How will his teammates? And above all else, how will Braun perform post-PED suspension?

2. Can the kids pitch? The Brewers’ top two prospects (Wily Peralta and Tyler Thornburg) are slated to hold the Nos. 4 and 5 slots in the Opening Day rotation. The club has three solid starters in Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse and Marco Estrada. But this team won’t have much chance of making a move up the NL Central standings if the back end of the rotation can’t hold up its end of the bargain.

3. What happens to Aramis Ramirez? The veteran third baseman was beset by injuries in 2013 and played in only 92 games. He’s entering the final year of his contract, due to make $16 million, and there are questions about the Brewers’ plan for him. If they play well enough early in the year, perhaps they keep him for a pennant race. But the more-likely scenario would have Milwaukee struggling and Ramirez becoming a trade chip this summer. He’ll only have value, though, if he’s healthy and productive.

  1. Eugene in Oregon - Jan 21, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    I rarely wish any individual ill. But I hope Ryan Braun flops.

    • Sonny G 10 - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:49 AM

      ditto

    • Section 222 - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      me 3. There’s a special place in you know where for Braun after what he did to the specimen collector. And you have to wonder what kind of player he’ll be without PEDs. Has he ever fessed up about when he was using and when he wasn’t?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 80 15.5
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Monday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (3) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 68 3.0
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.0
-------------------------
PITTSBURGH 85 71 --
SAN FRANCISCO 85 71 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 5.0
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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