CHICAGO, September 12, 2013 — Earlier, the Better Luck Next Time series examined the team at the bottom of the NL Central, the Chicago Cubs. Today the second to last place team in the division is in the crosshairs. Better luck next year, Milwaukee Brewers.
To view the complete Better Luck Next Year series, click here.
What Went Right: The Brewers entered the season with questions, but not many picked them to struggle this much in 2013. There were some bright spots though, and the easiest to identify was Jean Segura. Segura came to the Brewers as the centerpiece of the Greinke deal and has made that trade look okay from the Brewers perspective. Segura has faded in the second half as he posted a .325/.363/.487 slash line in the first half as opposed to a .246/.269/.314 slash line in the second half. He has shown that he can stick at shortstop in the major leagues and will be interesting to watch next year to see if he can make the adjustments to produce more along the lines he did in the first half.
Carlos Gomez started to put his tools to use last year and he has continued to develop this year producing at a .279/.333/.489 clip while stealing 34 bases at an 85% success rate and producing 3.6 defensive WAR according to baseball reference.
The Brewers farm system entered the year ranked 23rd according to Baseball America with very few potential impact players in many people’s view. Scooter Gennett and Khris Davis have come up and been a pleasant surprise though. Scooter Gennett was ranked as the teams number eight prospect by Baseball America, but has come up and posted a .342/.381/.550 line although it has been in just 162 plate appearances. Davis has looked like Chris Davis from Baltimore in his 123 plate appearances posting a .279/.341/.595 line. The sample sizes are nott really big enough to know what the Brewers have, but it will be interesting to see how they do going forward.
What Went Wrong: Yuniesky Betancourt has been on the Brewers roster all year. Betancourt has posted a .207/.234/.359 line, but has somehow been given 372 plate appearances. A lot of those plate appearances are due to Corey Hart being hurt all year. Betancourt’s hot start and his being able to play a variety of positions also played a role, but the decision to give him that many at bats is inexcusable.
As if being forced to watch Betancourt play wasn’t painful enough the Brewers franchise player, Ryan Braun, was suspended for the final 65 games of the season for his involvement in the Biogenesis case. Braun had already experienced a rough year on the field, battling injuries, and posted a .298/.372/.498 line which is arguably the worst of his career. In addition to the suspension, there were allegations that Braun has been using PED’s since he was in college, which will make it interesting to see how he performs next year. On the bright side, if you are a Brewers season ticket holder you may have gotten a phone call from Braun apologizing.
Yovani Gallardo is regarded higher than his stats merit by many, and this year, he has posted the worst season of his career. With an ERA+ of 94 he has produced below league average results and his strikeout percentage has dropped below 20%, currently 18.2%, for the first time in his career.
What to Look For in 2014: The Brewers should be better next year than they were in 2013. They have a nice offensive core with Braun, Segura, Gomez, and whatever they can get out of Aramis Ramirez. The team will need to find some more pitching, though, as Yovani Gallardo was disappointing this year and there was not much else in the rotation beyond Kyle Lohse.
Free Agents/Options: Corey Hart, Mike Gonzalez and Yuniesky Betancourt
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