You remember the Milwaukee Brewers?

Young, analytically inclined GM with a long baseball resumé. David Stearns is 14 years younger than Dick Williams. Yet, Stearns had worked for four major league clubs before joining the Brewers, including a three-year stint with the Houston Astros as assistant GM. He’s smart, aggressive and killing it so far in his new job.

Team finished second in the NL Central with a record of 86-76. 13-game improvement over 2016. Missed the play-in by one game.

Despite a returning outfield of Ryan Braun, Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana, the Brewers added Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain this offseason. If they slide Braun to first base as expected, the outfield will be Yelich, Cain and Santana. That moves Eric Thames (2.1 fWAR) to the bench. Thames is the guy that hit eleventy billion home runs off Reds pitching last year, in April.

If would be a shock if the Brewers don’t use their surplus of young, major league position players to land a top-tier starting pitcher, like Chris Archer.

Meanwhile, the Brewers still have three players ranked in the Top-100 Prospects in baseball by Baseball America. The Reds have four.

The Reds travel to the Maryvale Baseball Park to face Milwaukee at 3:05 p.m. ET. Television on FSO and radio on WSAI-1360. Here is the Reds lineup:

  1. Billy Hamilton CF (Herrera, R)
  2. Eugenio Suarez 3B (Blandino)
  3. Joey  Votto 1B (Kivlehan)
  4. Scooter Gennett 2B (Long)
  5. Adam Duvall LF (Elizalde)
  6. Tucker Barnhart C (Turner, Tromp)
  7. Jose Peraza SS (Pennington)
  8. Phil Gosselin DH (Dixon)
  9. Mason Williams RF (Aquino)

Players in parentheses are expected to enter the game around the fifth inning.

And making his 2018 debut on the mound, Anthony DeSclafani. Also scheduled/available to pitch: Mahle, Stephens, Floro, Herget, Weiss, Astin, Rowen

Chase Anderson starts for Milwaukee.

17 Responses

  1. sultanofswaff

    Big time kudos to the brew crew for landing Yelich and Cain. I thought the package given up for Yelich was light, so that’s a win for Milwaukee. Still, without an appreciable upgrade to their starting pitching it’s going to be difficult for them to move the dial much in the win-loss column (they’re leading the mlbtraderumors poll on which team still needs to add one of the remaining free agent starting pitchers). Honestly, if the Reds have pitching health and 400+ at-bats from Senzel, I like their chances to have a better record.

    • David

      Yeah, the Brewers get some pitching (and they know what they need) makes them a formidable team in the division. Right there with the Cubs. And the Reds are still picking the lint out from between their toes. Rebuilding. That’s it.

  2. David

    Craig Counsell, manager of the Brewers, was interviewed by one of the Reds guys last year, and he talked about interviewing for the Rays’ job after Joe Maddon left for Cubland. He talked about how the Rays were very immersed in baseball metrics, and remarked how important that seemed. So Counsell and his manager are both on line with advanced metrics. That alone may not be enough, but they seem to be on the same page as to how to structure a team. Maybe they actually know something?

    Meanwhile, the man with the lowest OPS among regulars, and a woeful OBP will be leading off for Cincinnati. Yay us. I think?
    Unless things change and some fluke appears, I think the Reds are mired in 4th-5th place for the forseeable future. This fantasy about the Reds “contending” next year is predicated on making some good moves.
    And Larkin is not an advanced metrics guy. He has been pretty adamant about that when asked.

  3. JB WV

    According to Price, Finnegan will “definitely” pitch Thursday. I was wondering, too.

  4. Sliotar

    Brewers projected currently by FanGraphs at 79-83, out of the playoffs and 15 games behind the Cubs for the division title.

    Milwaukee had a chance last year, with the division in play, to make a significant move at the trade deadline and Stearns declined, despite public support from his owner to back any decision he reached.

    Brewers went on to finish one game out of the wild card play-in.

    If the Reds are ever in the 2017 Brewers’ position, I hope they have learned by watching and seize the moment.

    • Matthew Habel

      Team projections are tough. I hate to say I am going more on gut here, but the Brewers feel closer than that

  5. Aaron Bradley

    I like Gosselin for the bench. I know its early, but he has a track record as a good hitter.

  6. davy13

    Is the Milwaukee market that much bigger than Cincinnati’s to be able to make bold trades and signings?

    • Craig Z

      The Cincinnati metro population is about 2.11 million. Milwaukee’s is 1.57 million.

      • Kettering Reds Fan

        Not a true comparison. Milwaukee draws upon a larger geographic and demographic territory extending beyond the Milwaukee metro area. Also, Milwaukee can and does draw attendance up from Northern Illinois and the Chicago metro area (Cubs fans counted at parity).

        Also, their stadium has a roof – they don’t suffer the spring rain-a-paloozas that Cinci has endured in recent years.

        Waiting to see if they ante up for one of the residual pitching free agents still floating about out there. Until then, they are -still- the Brewers. You put up 3, -we’ll- put up 5. You put up 7, -we’ll- put up 11. They are built around slugging their way home. They tend to feel pitching needs only to be “good enough”. Sometimes, it is. Sometimes.

  7. Keith

    I wouldn’t even include Bailey, Disco and Castillo in that — they’re locks for the rotation.

  8. citizen54

    I’ve been saying this for a while. I know spring training performance doesn’t amount to a hill a beans, unless you are Bryan Price, but I think the Reds will be fine from a starting rotation standpoint. So many young guys to choose from.

  9. Ernest Howerton

    Please get Senzel at least 400 AB and don’t bat Billy lead off, if he’s not figured it out yet,chances are he won’t.Put some people on base in front of Votto.Lets put a winning team on the field.Duvall in left and Shebler and Winker fight over the other two spots.Its about winning baseball and not someone catching feelings.A once proud winning franchise,it hurts.Im 61 yrs,old and I guess I got spoiled by the Big Red Machine.Lets go Reds

  10. kmartin

    It is not good when one of the strongest offensive attributes of the lead off hitter is sacrifice bunting.

  11. Jeff Reed

    The pressure will stay on Hamilton. The Reds powers that be know what Hamilton is capable of and they are blinded by his speed and defensive ability. He’ll continue to be the leadoff hitter where most of us agree that Hamilton batting lower in the lineup would be a better fit.