Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Congratulations to Aaron Hamstra who was randomly selected to win a free race code for the Miller Park Spartan Sprint!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Be a Spartan, meet a Spartan at a Miller Park Giveaway

This trailer is awesome...

...but what's more awesome is that you can be Spartan in real life! Yes, you!

The Spartan Race is nuts. These people have been the leaders in obstacle racing since 2005 with the Spartan Sprint, Super Spartan, Spartan Beast, and an Ultra Beast Marathon. These races aren't for the faint of heart, I'm not even in shape enough to learn about most of these events without passing out.

So let's focus on the Spartan Sprint, the one that will get you in to Miller Park on November 2nd of this year. Run over 3 miles while working through more than 15 obstacles. Crawl through mud, flip tires, run stairs, and complete other obstacles to prove you're woman or man enough to be called Spartan.

What? That's not motivation enough? You want free stuff? OK, along with the race you'll recieve...

  • Spartan Race T-shirt
  • Spartan Race Finisher Medal
  • One free beer (must be 21 or older) for select USA events only
  • Food Vendors will be at the event as well as Music/MC
  • An Awards Ceremony
  • Top 3 Male/Female finishers recieve free entry into a Super Spartan of their choice
  • Completion earns you Spartan Agility certification (black level)
What? Still not enough? You want to do it all for free? ONE LUCKY READER CAN! Leave a comment on this blog post saying "I want a free race code" and enter to win one.

What? That's not fair? Everyone should get a free race code? Well I can't do that, but everyone can get 15% off of race entry here:

Get to it!

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Monday, May 13, 2013

A lot of moves make up Bucks ideal offseason, rebuild

Bucks Ideal Offseason and Rebuild

It's well documented that this is a crucial offseason for the Milwaukee Bucks franchise. A sub-.500 playoff berth, lifeless finish, discombobulated roster and struggling front office has the team in a vicious cycle of mediocrity.

The Bucks will have yet another mid-round draft pick. Although there is value to be found there, they won't have a shot at any stars. This is a league where you need stars.

There are some good pieces in place for the Bucks, but the argument to “tank” seems more appealing to the die-hard Herd who worry the cycle of mediocrity will only continue to rear its ugly head. But can the Bucks survive as a franchise in Milwaukee if they're irrelevant for two or three years?

They just might have to (Hopefully the BMOHBC lease to 2017 will encourage this).

With just seven of 15 players under guaranteed contracts next season and an open head coaching position, there is opportunity for the franchise to due a major overhaul.

A total rebuild means two things to me: 1) Get younger, and; 2) get pieces you can build around long term. I have come up with my ideal offseason plan for the Bucks to rebuild, but to maintain just enough hope and excitement (while still tanking) to keep the franchise in Milwaukee.

Step 1: Let them walk
Monta Ellis can opt out of his contract for next season, and rumors have suggested he will due so since he first came to Milwaukee in the Bogut trade. Brandon Jennings is a restricted free agent who's guard heavy draft class has set high salary standards (a la Steph Curry and Ty Lawson). Gustavo (Goose) Ayon also has a team option for next season. Despite conflicting reports, he seems to be alright with staying in Milwaukee.

Samuel Dalembert, JJ Redick, Mike Dunleavy, Joel Pryzbilla, and Marquis Daniels are all free agents. The only players I would bring back in this entire group is Dunleavy and possibly Daniels, for reasons to be explained later. Put simply, they'll be cheap and play a position that the Bucks will be weak at.

I could see some type of sign and trade deal with Jennings, which I would be OK with as well.

Step 2: Get Tyreke Evans

News around the league seems to suggest the Kings are keen on resigning their former ROY, but there may be some cap issues that forces a divorce. Evans is a restricted free agent, like Jennings. Perhaps a sign and trade might help them pry Evans out of Sacramento, but the best bet is to hope the Kings don't match an offer for Evans.

Evans is projected to make somewhere between $10 million and $12 million, so the Bucks will probably have to offer $12 million or higher to have a shot at snagging Evans.

Evans is a 6'6”, 220 lb. guard who has had more success at PG than SG. He is a poor shooter, but is quick, strong, and a great ball handler capable of creating for himself and teammates. He's just 23 years old and can be an integral piece the Bucks build with, but maybe not around. Evans does have potential to be the kind of dominant star you need, though, which gives the Bucks a little room for mistakes.

Step 3: Tyreke Evans and OJ Mayo
Where Evans struggles to score, Mayo succeeds. He has cut a nice niche for himself as a sixth man/scoring spark. The Bucks can offer him a starting spot.

Mayo is projected to make $5 million to $7 million this season, and with a number of suitors already interested he'll probably come on the high side.

Evans and Mayo combined are far more efficient offensively than Jennings and Ellis, and seem to be better in every other way. See the players advanced stats side-by-side here.

This article from B/R suggests Evans can be a premier distributor. The Bucks back court would also go from the smallest in the league to one of the biggest. To go with Evans' massive frame, Mayo is a solid 6'4", 210 lbs.

Evans and Mayo don't score like Jennings and Ellis do, but their Usage Rate is much lower. Per 36 minutes, they're only 2.8 points behind Jennings and Ellis, and they more than make up for that defensively and on the glass.

Lost in all these stats, the Bucks would simply be getting younger with these guards, and probably spending a little less money than they would have to in order to keep Jellis (see what I did there?).

Step 3: Make sure you lose a lot in 2013-2014
By now the roster is shaping up something like this:
PG: Evans (Ish Smith)
SG: Mayo
SF: ?
PF: Ilyasova (Henson, Udoh, Mbah a Moute, Gooden)
C: Sanders

We have definitely achieved goal number 1 (getting younger), but there are massive holes in the roster and we're still looking for the player to build around.

Andrew Wiggins might be the next LeBron James
That's OK!

If there was ever a year to be really bad, 2013-2014 is it. The 2014 draft class might be 20 deep with solid NBA contributors, and is stacked at the top with future household names like Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, and Jabari Parker. If the Bucks can manage a top five pick in this draft, they could find their centerpiece.

Draft smart
The Bucks don't need to draft to fill positions, especially if they want to tank. What's more important is that they find talented players. The only position I would avoid is PF, there is an overpopulation there already.

A guy like Glen Rice Jr. may be a good fit at SG to add some depth. Gorgui Dieng could be a good talent at C as well. Allow yourself to have a number of talented prospects to assimilate with whatever future star you find.

Filling out the roster
You still need to play in 2013-2014, so you'll have to field a team. I would work it this way:

*guaranteed salaries
*projected salaries

1Ersan Ilyasova790000025PF
2Drew Gooden668740031PF
3Luc Mbah a Moute458838426PF
4Ekpe Udoh446954825PF
5Larry Sanders305336824PF/C
6John Henson190536022PF
7Ish Smith91049124PG

8Tyreke Evans1100000023G
9OJ Mayo700000025SG
10Mike Dunleavy400000032SF
11Rookie 1150000020
12Rookie 265000020
13Randy Foye250000029G
14CJ Miles250000026SF
15Marquis Daniels100000032SF

Projected Salary59664551

The Bucks spent just over $60,000,000 last season, so the “Projected Salary” here could work.
The salaries of our two draft picks (Rookie 1 and Rookie 2) are based on last seasons rookie salaries.

Players 1-7 are under contract next season, so barring a trade or some other odd event they'll be on the roster. 10-15 are just players to populate the roster and fill out every position. Dunleavy is a great veteran and a good contributor for his price, and Daniels is dirt cheap. Keeping those guys around will help add some continuity to a team that will look drastically different.

Foye makes sense as a free agent signing here because he's cheap and he's a combo guard. There is little to no depth at the guard position, so he can help fill multiple roles for the time being. CJ Miles is young and has some ability, he's worth giving a shot and helps fill out the SF position.

Your thoughts?
I am no Advanced Stats expert or contract guru, so if I screwed something up, leave a comment! I've heard great ideas about moving Ersan to Washington for a higher pick. What are some ways this plan works, what are some ways it doesn't?

Follow us on Twitter @WisSportsPulse

The only major drop off with Evans and Mayo is the assists, but Evans' numbers were much better before he was moved to SG.

Friday, April 26, 2013

NFL Draft: Round 2

Now that round one is complete and we know who will be suited up on the defensive line for the Packers this year, our attention turns to day two of the draft. These are the rounds of the draft that define you as a GM. Here you have very good talent, sometimes higher rated talent than what went in the first round, but because of needs of the other teams picking in the first round (or a few character issues/weighted medical reasons) teams didn't want to spend a first round pick and give guaranteed money to that player. 

As we scan the Best Players Available in these rounds here are a few the Packers should be happy to see fall. In no particular order I will give you the players that I feel best fit the Packers, and why I see it. Of course, these are the guys that should actually be available, and not players I see going in the top five of the second round.

The Packers still want a Safety in this class. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Ted Thompson won't pick a safety in the second round, because he wants last years safety prospect McMillian to prove Ted was right on with that pick.

Phillip Thomas is a top option for the
Packers at safety

Here are a few 
Safeties that will be available to Ted when his time comes tonight.

Phillip Thomas (Fresno State): Good prospect with aggressive style the Packers could use in the back of the defense.

DJ Swearinger (South Carolina): Good prospect

Offensive line
: Center should be the direction Ted will go after Round 2.

Barrett Jones: If he is available here I believe we will go ahead and take him. I think he's a little overrated. He never solidified the position at Alabama. He played many positions, which is probably why Ted likes him. He is not dominating at center, guard, or tackle, but has played every position.

David Quessenberry: He also can play multiple positions and is ready to start in the NFL from day one.

Running Back
: This is the position that I hear every Packer fan ranting about in the days leading up to the draft.

Johnathon Franklin: I am going to stay with UCLA here with picks early in the draft. Ted Thompson was on his A game the day he went to Pro Day in Los Angeles. He comes away with two very good football players from the same School. Franklin could be very similar to a Marshall Faulk type player, very dynamic with the ball in his hands.

Le'veon Bell: Big Back, a back that can be an every down runner. If you pair him up with Dujuan Harris, you might have thunder and lightning in your backfield. Very durable player with very light feet for a big back.

I know all you 
Wisconsin fans want Montee Ball, but I believe Montee Ball's best days as a running back are behind him. He will be a very average pro back who will last for about 6 years as a backup on an NFL team  ---  Sorry Badger Fans!!!!
Aaron Mellette might be a player to keep an eye on

Wide Receiver: Ted likes the wide outs on his roster, that's why he let Greg Jennings leave via free agency.  He will replace Greg with a solid player.

Stedman Bailey: If you've been following me in the past couple of weeks I love this kid. He remind me of Greg Jennings a little bit as a kind of a fast,run after the catch receiver. Not a big receiver, but an outside, quick  receiver who is tough enough to run a crossing route and take it to the house. No matter where he ends up, I want to keep my eye on him. He isn't as highly rated as his counter part Tavon Austin, but no slouch at the wide receiver position.

Kenny Stills: I don't thinks he is a day two pick, but a player that Ted is eyeing up.

Aaron Mellette: This is a name that I keep coming across as I researched the type of receiver that the Packers usually are interested in. I don't know why, he just seems to come up. A small school prospect.

Corey Fuller: What would the NFL draft be without Ted Thompson choosing a player from Virginia Tech? I haven't researched this, but I believe that Ted Thompson has a special relationship with a coach at Virginia Tech and he slips him some info on a late pick player that Ted feels he can take a swing at later in the draft.

Defensive Line:  I still believe that if Kawaan Short from Purdue is there in the second round Ted would take him.

Margus Hunt would be too awesome to pass up, but with the pick of Jones in the first round there would be no                              need to pick another defensive end

Line backers:  I really believe that Ted is happy with all of his linebackers. He will add an outside linebacker later in the draft, but not in the second or third.

There you have a synopsis of what is to come on day two of the draft. Keep your eyes peeled to the television as Ted continues to work the draft board and prove he is a genius.

(Follow us on Twitter @WisSportsPulse)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A "Patty's Report"

A "Patty's Report"

Hi Packer fans,  
Tonight starts the 2013 NFL football season with the NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

This is the time of year Ted Thompson loves. This is the time when he can prove to everyone how smart he is and how he can upgrade his roster and continue to be the youngest team in the league while not having to spend any money for other teams free agents.  

With Jennings leaving for
Minnesota, the Packers need
depth at WR

The Packers need to upgrade in a few areas--safety, offensive line, defensive line, running back, and regain some depth at wide receiver where we lost Greg Jennings in free agency. Ted can't upgrade all these positions with starters out of this one draft, but it has quite a lot of depth in it. There aren't a lot of first year Pro Bowl caliber players, but a number of guys that could work their way onto a football roster and eventually could be starters, then eventually Pro Bowlers in this league.  

That being said, it is my guess that Trader Ted will allow us to be glued to our televisions tonight talking about everyone else's choices and how they fit into their schemes, and he will find some team that wants to jump back into the first round to grab the overrated quarterback that they so desperately need and give the Packers their second round pick and another fourth or so. I really feel strongly that, if he can find a suitor, this is the route he will go with (unless some of the overrated quarterbacks get chosen early, and some of the " can't miss " prospects fall to him). 

There are a few possibilities that the Packers have their eye on this year. Ted always has his eye on the future and not this years team, (which is why we will always will be near the top every year).  It is my understanding that this will be Ryan Pickets last year with the Pack, and BJ Raji is a free agent next year. Raji will have to show more than he has in the last two seasons to receive the kind of money he thinks he deserves, especially after signing Rodgers and Mathews to large extensions this off season. 

D-Line and linebackers

There will be some very intriguing options available in the first round when the Packers select, barring a trade, as I proposed. At the end of the first round the Packers would love it if DT Shariff Floyd dropped to them, but that may be wishful thinking. DT Sylvester Williams from North Carolina  wouldn't be a bad choice either. 
Kawaan Short makes plays, despite double teams

There are two other defensive tackles that I believe Ted loves, maybe just because they played in the Big Ten:  Kawaan Short from Purdue and Jonathan Hankins from Ohio State. Of the two, I would prefer Shorts because he is a little more explosive. He had 17.5 tackles for  losses on a team that didn't have another good defensive player. He was routinely double teamed and still made plays. 

Keep in mind this group of players all have potential, but their game is lacking a few areas, and good coaching can get these players to the next level.

If the Packers want to go with a player that can play outside and inside on passing downs I am really intrigued with LB Donta Jones from UCLA. He is the perfect fit in the defensive end 3-4 scheme. The problem with him is that he has a "good" pass rush and he is "good" at playing the run; he's not great at anything, much like the guys on the roster now.

The Boom or Bust player that would get fans buzzing, but could be cut before his rookie contract runs out, would be Margus Hunt from SMU, a 6' 7" raw defensive end.  This kid could be JJ Watt or Bruce Clark (former Packers defensive end draft pick---BUST). Personally, I would like to see if he falls to the second round and take a gamble on him there.


The other position that I could see the Packers taking in the first round is safety. This is a very good safety class and I there will still be the top safeties on the board at the time we pick late in the first round. I love Kenny Vaccaro from Texas. He is a complete safety with range and he can cover receivers one-on-one. This is the only safety on the board that will have to fall to get to the Packers. 

Shawn Williams makes a tackle

A player like Matt Elam from Florida isn't the same type of "cover" safety that Vaccaro is, but he will bring the wood.  He reminds me of Ronnie Lott; huge hitter, plays the run with abandon. I just don't know if his size will be an issue going against some of the Big receivers in the NFC North. Georgia's Shawn Williams reminds me of a combination of Charles Woodson and Nick Collins. He's a team leader and is good at all aspects of the game, but the only question I have with him is that he only had 4 interceptions in 4 years at Georgia (looks like Tarzan,  plays like Jane syndrome, maybe?).

I could also see Ted going after small school prospect Jonathon Cyprien. This kid has shot up draft boards everywhere. The argument could be made that he is the best safety in this class. If the Packers pass on a safety in the first round, I really like Tony Jefferson from Oklahoma in maybe the third or fourth round.

Ball Catchers (WR, TE)

I know that we will see a wide receiver chosen in this draft, but not in the first two rounds. So I looked at some of the second tier wide outs that the Packers could consider in the middle rounds. The two that kept coming up when I watched their tapes were Stedman Bailey from West Virginia and Kenny Stills (Ken Stills kid though, so...).

Both guys remind me a little of Greg Jennings in a way. They are fast and good with the ball in their hands. It is not the way Ted operates, but Denard Robinson, the converted quarterback from Michigan, intrigues me in the later rounds.

I still believe that Jermichael Finley has major value on this team, so I don't see them pushing him out the door.  I'm not in the locker room day in and day out, but I don't see what the team has to put up with with his immaturity. To this issue, I  don't see what every other draft guru sees when they predict that the Packers will pick Tyler Eifert from Notre Dame. I just know that I don't want to see Eifert go to any other team in the NFC North. He will be a match-up nightmare for teams. Hopefully he isn't a nightmare for the Pack twice a year.  

Ball Runners

Marcus Lattimore will have to prove he's a top
talent after two knee surgies

The Packers just might look at Levean Bell in the second round.  He is a big back, to team up with Jawaan Harris, kind of in the mold Cedric Benson. The only other running backs I would take in this draft are Jonathon Franklin from UCLA if he lasts to the third or fourth round, or Marcus Lattimore, who is the best running back in the draft but is coming off of two reconstructive knee surgeries so would have to be a fifth or sixth round flyer in this draft.

My seven round Mock Draft would look like this:

    Round 1     Kewaan Shorts           DT                   Purdue

    Round 2     Travis Fredrikse          Center              Wisconsin

    Round 3     Tony Jefferson            Safety               Oklahoma

    Round 4     Justin Pugh                Guard               Syracuse

    Round 5     Stedman Bailey          Receiver            West Virginia        

    Round 6     Ray Graham              Running back     Pittsburg

    Round 7     Maalick Bomer           OLB                  Cinncinati

Or I could be wrong with every pick in this mock (most likely) and Ted will pick the best player available to continue to build the Green Bay Packers into perennial champions.

In Ted We Trust

Have a good night, the best time of the year........NFL DRAFT 2013

(Follow us on Twitter @WisSportsPulse)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Why Jim Boylan will make John Hammond look like a genius

I posted that tweet the day Jim Boylan was named interim head coach. It's time to back it up!

As we all know, Scott Skiles and the Milwaukee Bucks agreed to part ways late at night January 7th. At the time he was 16-16, .500, but on a four game skid.

Scott Skiles and the Bucks agreed to part
ways on January 7th.
16-16. Average. It's about what most expected out of this Bucks team: mediocrity.

Reports say that Skiles didn't like the makeup of his roster and wanted a buy out before the 2012-2013 season even began. That being said, it would seem as though Skiles ultimately made the decision to leave. That would make sense, seeing as the lackluster Milwaukee organization seems to have been happy at .500.

Jim Boylan, long time assistant for Coach Skiles, took control of the Deer on an interim basis. Though it seems as though it was Skiles' decision to leave, the average fan looks to GM John Hammond for this decision. In the end, it's Hammond's job on the line. In the final year of his contract, he needed to win (or in the Bucks case, be anywhere at or above .500) to keep his job. He agreed to part ways with Skiles and he named Boylan head coach.

Jim Boylan assumed the head coaching position
on an interim basis
It saved him his job. Today (it's January 23rd when I'm writing this) we learned that John Hammond's contract as General Manager of the Milwaukee Bucks has been extended for three years. Much like in the Skiles scenario, I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. I do know one thing, though: Jim Boylan will make John Hammond (and now the Bucks organization, coincidentally) look like a genius.

As I stated earlier, the Bucks were 16-16 when Skiles elected to leave the team. Average. Not bad, not good. Well, it wasn't too bad from my point of view, considering the opponents they faced are a combined 661-655 (.502 winning percentage, based on teams records as of January 23rd). They were playing decent opponents and were still able to keep their head above water.

But Skiles left anyways. And Jim Boylan stepped in. Out of the gate, he's 6-2. We struck gold! Or is it fools gold? The eight teams Boylan's Bucks have faced thus far are a combined 135-193 (.412 winning percentage).

So, what you're saying is that the Bucks will still be mediocre in the long term?

False. Remember the title? Jim Boylan (or, I suppose, the Bucks schedule) will make John Hammond (and, I suppose, the Bucks organization) look like a genius.

John Hammond's contract with the Bucks was
extended for three more seasons.

The schedule doesn't get much more difficult from here on out. There are 42 games yet to be played. The teams on the Bucks schedule for those games are a combined 851-869 (.495 winning percentage). Yes, it's only a slight change from the teams Skiles faced earlier in the year, but it's still below .500. Put simply, the teams they play lose more than they win. That bodes well for Jim Boylan, John Hammond, and everyone upstairs.

By firing Scott Skiles and naming Jim Boylan head coach, and by extending John Hammond's contract, the Bucks organization will look awesome when the Bucks finish 6th-7th in the East (hooray for mediocrity!). John Hammond will be everyone's hero for sticking to this amazing (*sarcasm*) roster he built and for promoting Jim Boylan. And Jim Boylan will feel accomplished, then become an assistant coach again.

Of course, injured players will be returning and other players will become injured, yadda yadda, but based on the numbers, the outcome of this Bucks season may be better than we expected, much to the chagrin of Scott Skiles.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Brewers: Year in Preview

Pitchers and catchers report to training camp in just 33 days. You can almost smell the Koops Mustard and Usinger's sausage now; or maybe that's just Wisconsin. I digress.

With the anticipation of baseball just around the corner, it may be fitting to take a look at where the Brewers stand. After a handful of free agent additions this winter, the Brewers roster seems all but completed. However, there is still much to be determined in the starting rotation, where there is room for several top prospects to make the cut.

Nyjer Morgan / T-Plush / Tony Gumbo elected free
agency in November
Back in November, a number of Brewers elected free agency. Nyjer Morgan, Jose Veras, Kameron Loe, Alex Gonzalez, Shaun Marcum, Francisco Rodriquez, Travis Ishikawa, and Manny Parra will no longer be part of the organization in 2013. Of course, four of those players were part of the worst bullpen in baseball in 2012. The Crew posted a bullpen ERA of 4.66, good for worst in all of baseball. Melvin made a concerned effort to fix the bullpen this winter, a la the departure of Veras, Loe, K-rod, and Parra.

New Bullpen
With that crop of relief pitchers saying goodbye, the Brewers were left without a singe LHP in the bullpen. A trade for former Devil Ray Burke Badenhop (RHP) and FA signings of Tom Gorzelanny (LHP) and Michael Gonzalez (LHP) helped to rebuild the bullpen and provide some depth with both RHP's and LHP's.

There are still some things to be determined in the bullpen, but as I see it, it looks to have shaped up this way:

Long Reliever: Tom Gorzelanny. He was a former starter for the Pirates and Nationals who finally found some success in the bullpen last year. He has good stuff against both righties (.247) and lefties (.237); just the kind of guy Roenicke likes to use here.

Lefty Specialist: Mike Gonzalez. Good against lefties (.179), not so good against righties (.297).

Set up man: Jim Henderson. He was a breakout guy last year during Ax's struggles. With the hopes that Axford will be more of his 2011 self, Henderson will see the 8th inning.

Closer: John Axford. Melvin made it clear at the end of last season that even though Ax had struggled, he was still the Brewers' closer. Hopefully DM made the right call.

Other guys: Burke Badenhop and Brandon Kintzler are shoe-ins to make the roster. I am a strong supporter of both Josh Stinson and Tyler Thornburg. One (maybe both, I doubt it though) will make the roster.

(Read a similar article from

A host of other minor league prospects (and others) will also be competing for spots on the opening day roster, including: (Italicized players have a good chance to be on the opening day roster, parenthesized number is their rank in Brewers organization, via

RHP Nick Bucci
RHP Hiram Burgos
RHP Fautino De Los Santos
LHP Miguel De Los Santos
RHP Johnny Hellweg (5)
RHP Santo Manzanillo
RHP Michael Olmsted
RHP Ariel Pena (12)
RHP Jesus Sanchez

SS Jeff Bianchi
UT? Mat Gamel
2B Scooter Gennett (6)
UT Taylor Green

CF Khris Davis (18)
RF Caleb Gindl (15)
CF Josh Prince
CF Logan Schafer (8)

Non-Roster Invitees
A whole host of promising young talents will join the Brewers at training camp. The list:

RHP Jairo Asencio
LHP Jed Bradley (4)
RHP Darren Byrd
RHP Donovan Hand
RHP Taylor Jungmann (3)
RHP Arcenio Leon
LHP Travis Webb

C Dayton Buller
C Anderson De La Rosa
C Blake Lalli
C Rafael Neda
C Adam Weisenburger

SS Hector Gomez
1B Hunter Morris (7)
UT Donnie Murphy

CF Kentrail Davis (11)

Opening Day Roster
I see the opening day roster shaping out something like this:

Tyler Thornburg made his first
Major League start in 2012
John Axford
Jim Henderson
Tom Gorzelanny
Michael Gonzalez
Brandon Kintzler
Burke Badenhop
Josh Stinson
*The Brewers are insistent Thornburg will be a starter in the future. Because of this, I see them choosing to use him as a starter in Nashville over the opportunity to pitch out of the bullpen in Milwaukee

Yovanni Gallardo
Mike Fiers
Marco Estrada
Chris Narveson
Mark Rogers
Estrada was forced into the starting rotation
in 2012 after an injury to Chris Narveson.
He was 5-7 with a 3.64 ERA last year.
*Over and over again this summer, DM has stated how much guts the A's had starting so many young pitchers. I think deep down, that's what he wants to be. After Spring Training, the rotation will probably look like this, but I would prefer to see Peralta here and Estrada in the bullpen (bumping Stinson out). Estrada is a good starter, but great from the pen. Put him where he succeeds.

RF Norichka Aoki
1B Corey Hart
LF Ryan Braun
3B Aramis Ramirez
Alex Gonzalez!
C Jonathan Lucroy
2B Rickie Weeks
CF Carlos Gomez
SS Jean Segura

UT Mat Gamel
UT Donnie Murphy
C Martin Maldanado
UT Taylor Green
OF Logan Schaefer
*I would prefer the Crew sign a veteran SS (Alex Gonzalez!) and not use Murphy there, but I wouldn't be surprised if they kept their pockets closed the rest of this off-season.

The Bullpen is much improved and should be competitive. The offense will be as good as last year, if not better with an improved Weeks and an upgrade at SS. The question marks are in the starting rotation. As they go, the Brewers will go. Which Mike Fiers will we see? Can Rogers stay healthy for a big league season? How will Narveson rebound from season ending surgery last year?

If the pitching can be in the upper half of baseball, the Brewers will shine.

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