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Diving into the depths: Milwaukee Brewers

Jan 20, 2010, 7:12 PM EDT

This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Milwaukee Brewers
Rotation
1. Randy Wolf
2. Yovani Gallardo
3. Doug Davis
4. Manny Parra
5. Jeff Suppan
6. Dave Bush
7. Chris Capuano
8. John Halama
9. Kameron Loe
10. Carlos Villanueva
11. Chris Narveson
12. A.J. Murray
13. Josh Butler
Wednesday’s addition of Davis complicates things, but it was necessary. Now the Brewers will have Parra, Suppan and Bush compete for two spots. Manager Ken Macha said months ago that Parra was penciled into the rotation, while the other two weren’t necessarily. If salary plays a role, then Parra might be out of luck. However, my guess here is that either Suppan or Bush will be released in spring training. It’d mean eating $12 million in Suppan’s case, but Bush, who is due about $4.25 million in arbitration, won’t have a guaranteed contract.
Bullpen
1. Trevor Hoffman
2. LaTroy Hawkins
3. Todd Coffey
4. Mitch Stetter
5. Carlos Villanueva
6. Claudio Vargas
7. Kameron Loe
8. Chuck Lofgren
9. John Halama
10. Tim Dillard
11. John Axford
12. Chris Smith
13. Mike Burns
14. Chris Narverson
15. Josh Butler
The bullpen is six deep with quality arms. With Villanueva and Vargas able to go multiple innings, the Brewers may opt to keep Lofgren, a Rule 5 pick, as a second lefty specialist.


Catcher
1. Gregg Zaun
2. George Kottaras
3. Jonathan Lucroy
4. Matt Treanor
5. Angel Salome
First base
1. Prince Fielder
2. Casey McGehee
3. Adam Heether
Second base
1. Rickie Weeks
2. Craig Counsell
3. Hernan Iribarren
4. Luis Cruz
Third base
1. Casey McGehee
2. Mat Gamel
3. Craig Counsell
Shortstop
1. Alcides Escobar
2. Craig Counsell
3. Luis Cruz
The only question left with regards to the starting lineup is whether Lucroy can win some sort of job-sharing arrangement with Zaun. The Brewers won’t keep the 23-year-old as a true backup, so if Zaun is going to be the starter, then Lucroy would head to Triple-A and Kottaras would likely stick over Treanor.
Gamel seems set to return to Triple-A, even though his showing in 128 at-bats for the Brewers last season suggested that he was ready for the majors. He’ll be available if McGehee stumbles as a sophomore.
Left field
1. Ryan Braun
2. Jody Gerut
3. Trent Oeltjen
4. Adam Stern
Center field
1. Carlos Gomez
2. Jody Gerut
3. Lorenzo Cain
4. Adam Stern
Right field
1. Corey Hart
2. Jody Gerut
3. Lorenzo Cain
4. Trent Oeltjen
The Brewers will probably pick up a fifth outfielder from the bargain rack as we get closer to spring training. Ideally, it’d be a right-handed hitter capable of providing a little punch off the bench. Marcus Thames will probably be out of their price range, but Reed Johnson or Rocco Baldelli could work.

  1. Chaz - Jan 20, 2010 at 8:22 PM

    It’s just not enough to win the Central. Prince and Braun are elite, Gallardo is very good, the pen is good, and everything else is below average. Maybe they can win it if Weeks and Escobar have breakout years, but I’d bet the under.

  2. Nate - Jan 20, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    You’re wrong on the pitching rotation; Narveson was the replacement for Gallardo in September and did an excellent job. Macha said he was going to compete with Suppan and Bush for a spot, where Loe and Halama are mostly minor league depth. Butler should be higher, too; he was Tampa’s 2nd round pick in ’06 and is a fairly decent prospect. Gallardo should be #1 above Wolf, too; he will be the ace.

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