Worst Baseball Team for 2017

On February 12, 2017, in MLB, by Stephen

Forget the Padres, Athletics or Braves.

The Milwaukee Brewers are going to have the worst record this baseball season. I predict they will go under their projected win total of 72 1/2 victories.

The Brewers being terrible again sits fine with Milwaukee management. They’re still very much in rebuilt mode. The Brewers now have one of the better farm systems, but their young talent is still two years away.

Ryan Braun is the Brewers’ only elite player – and he’s injury prone and very well could get traded.

Making matters worse for the Brewers is they are in a tough division. The Cubs are the best team in baseball with the highest win total. The Cardinals are tied for having the seventh-highest win total. The Pirates are in bounce back mode.

Milwaukee improved from 68 victories to 73 last season. Expect regression because the Brewers gave up a lot to shore up their minor league teams. The Brewers aren’t going to be able to start with an above average catcher with Jonathan Lucroy gone and their underrated bullpen is completely dismantled. They also don’t have Chris Carter, who led the NL in homers last season with 41.

Here’s the Brewers’ projected starting lineup. You tell me if there’s a worst team on paper.

Catcher: The battle of the backups is on between Andrew Susac, Jeff Bandy and Manny Pina. Are any of these guys major league starter quality?

Corners: Eric Thames is expected to be the first baseman with former Red Sox Travis Shaw projected as the third baseman. Thames couldn’t cut it in the majors so he’s played the past three seasons in Korea. Shaw batted .242 for the Red Sox.

Middle infield: The Brewers have some decent depth here, although they could trade Scooter Gennett. The big key is Orlando Arcia at shortstop. He’s a highly-touted prospect who struggled during his two months when he was brought up.

Outfielders: I’d say it’s 50-50 Braun gets traded. If he does most likely it would be for prospects. The Brewers’ other two projected starting outfielders are Domingo Santana and Keon Broxton. Both are unpolished and inconsistent. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, a journeyman type, is Milwaukee’s fourth outfielder. The Brewers do have some promising minor league outfielders but they’re not expected to be ready until 2018.

Starting pitching: It’s ugly. Zach Davies and 32-year-old Junior Guerra are at the top of the rotation with Wily Peralta, Jimmy Nelson, Chase Anderson, Taylor Jungmann and Matt Garza in the mix along with newcomer Tommy Milone, the only lefty in the bunch. If somehow Guerra or Garza pitch well, then they likely will be traded. The Brewers’ youth movement doesn’t include them. I used to think Nelson could be something special. I don’t feel that way anymore. Same with Peralta, who gives up too many homers to be effective at Miller Park. The highest compliment you can say about any of these guys is they are serviceable – and that’s only if they’re pitching well, a huge and doubtful if.

Relief pitchers: I loved the Brewers bullpen last season – until management destroyed it by trading away their three best relievers. Closers Jeremy Jeffress and then Tyler Thornburg, both of whom pitched well, were dealt along with lefty setup man Will Smith. Now the Brewers’ bullpen is devoid of southpaws and the anointed closer is Neftali Feliz, who hasn’t been healthy and effective since 2011.

This is a very bad, bad team.


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