Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2013 Fantasy outlooks: Milwaukee Brewers

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Looking to make back-to-back playoff appearances for only the second time in their history, the 2012 Brewers got another MVP-caliber season from reigning MVP Ryan Braun, a breakout performance from third-year catcher Jonathan Lucroy, surprise contributions from projected reserves Norichika Aoki and Carlos Gomez and about half a season of ace numbers from virtual unknown Mike Fiers.

2013 Fantasy Outlooks
A.L. East N.L. East
Orioles Braves
Red Sox Marlins
Yankees Mets
Rays Phillies
Blue Jays Nationals
A.L. Central N.L. Central
White Sox Cubs
Indians Reds
Tigers Brewers
Royals Pirates
Twins Cardinals
A.L. West N.L. West
Astros Diamondbacks
Angels Rockies
Athletics Dodgers
Mariners Padres
Rangers Giants

And yet they finished only third in the NL Central, behind the playoff-bound Reds and Cardinals.

Believe it or not, losing free agent Prince Fielder wasn't their biggest problem. Led by mainstays Braun, Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks and newcomer Aramis Ramirez, their lineup was the main reason they came as close as they did. And provided Lucroy, Aoki and Gomez don't slip too much and Hart misses only the first two months following offseason knee surgery, it should again be their primary strength in 2013.

So where did they fall short? John Axford is a good place to start. The hard-throwing closer, who emerged as one of the game's best in 2011, still threw plenty hard last year, but his command was never quite right, leading to inflated walk and home run rates, not to mention nine blown saves. The Brewers never did find an adequate replacement for him, and now with Francisco Rodriguez out of the picture, their only choice for the ninth inning in 2013 is to live and die with Axford again.

An opportunity for Fantasy owners? Well, maybe the brave ones.

2013 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Norichika Aoki RF
2. Rickie Weeks 2B
3. Ryan Braun LF
4. Aramis Ramirez 3B
5. Jonathan Lucroy C
6. Mat Gamel 1B
7. Carlos Gomez CF
8. Jean Segura SS
Bench Logan Schafer OF
Bench Taylor Green IF
Bench Martin Maldonado C

As for their starting rotation -- which is, to a degree, at the mercy of Axford -- Zack Greinke is gone, but Yovani Gallardo still gives the Brewers a legitimate front-liner, even if he's a little short of being an ace in Fantasy. After him, though, the picture gets fuzzy. Fiers took a dramatic turn for the worse over his final 10 starts last year, which suggests he may have been performing over his head to begin with. Between him, veteran Chris Narveson, who's coming off shoulder surgery, and rookies Mark Rogers, Wily Peralta and Tyler Thornburg, the Brewers have several candidates for their final three rotation spots.

With a strong lineup backing them, all five have genuine sleeper appeal. They'll just be at risk of getting swapped out for each other if they don't capitalize on it right away.

Bounce-back player ... Rickie Weeks, second baseman

The truth is Weeks has already bounced back, but you wouldn't know it by where he's projected to go on Draft Day. Over his final 97 games last year, he hit .269 with 16 homers, 11 steals and an .812 OPS -- which, if projected over a full season, is basically what he did in 2010 and 2011, when he was regarded among the best at his position. It's that .162 batting average over his first 60 games that scares people away. Keep in mind, though, he rushed back from a severely sprained ankle to take part in the playoffs in 2011. Just before spring training last year, he was still saying he hadn't fully recovered. Chances are the injury had some carryover effect in 2012, but once he got past it, he was the same old power-hitting second baseman as always. With a clean bill of health entering 2013, Weeks is once again poised to perform like a top-five second baseman.

2013 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. Yovani Gallardo RHP
2. Marco Estrada RHP
3. Mike Fiers RHP
4. Chris Narveson LHP
5. Mark Rogers RHP
ALT Wily Peralta RHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. John Axford RHP
2. Jim Henderson RHP
3. Mike Gonzalez LHP
4. Tom Gorzelanny LHP
5. Burke Badenhop RHP

Buyer beware ... Carlos Gomez, outfielder

Gomez's long-awaited power finally showed up in his age-26 season last year. Even though he didn't take over as a full-time starter until the second half, he still nearly had a 20-homer, 40-steal campaign. So what could he do with 550-plus at-bats? It's a prognosticator's playground. Of course, therein lies the danger. Though Gomez is surely a better player now than he was at this time a year ago, let's not understate just how bad he was a year ago. Struggling to hit .230 is nobody's idea of a good time. He was still that player in the first half last year, and the swing-at-anything approach that put him in that hole was just as evident in the second half, when he had a 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Of course, protecting yourself from a worst-case scenario is different from completely dismissing a player, but if you're expecting more than a .240-ish batting average, 15 homers and 30 steals from Gomez, you're bound to overpay for him.

Sleeper ... Marco Estrada, starting pitcher

For all the uncertainty surrounding the Brewers' starting rotation entering 2013, Estrada is the one pitcher other than Yovani Gallardo whose spot is all but assured. That's because over his 23 starts last year, he did what Mike Fiers couldn't do: He never let up, compiling a 3.76 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings. So why do Fantasy owners tend to see him in the same light as Fiers? Like Fiers, he wasn't supposed to be that good. He had seemingly topped out as a long reliever or swingman-type at age 28, and his modest fastball presumably precluded him from being a strikeout-per-inning pitcher. But with zero earned runs allowed in five of his final eight starts and eight or more strikeouts in four of them, Estrada was exactly who he shouldn't have been right up to the very end. For the price of a middle-to-late-round pick, here's betting he keeps it going.

Prospects Report

Wily Peralta, Tyler Thornburg and Mark Rogers present the Brewers with three capable options for their starting rotation (with Johnny Hellweg and Taylor Jungmann just a little behind). The three will compete for a rotation spot (or perhaps two) this spring, with Rogers' lack of options giving him the advantage. Peralta impressed as much as Rogers late last season, though, and is generally regarded as the one with more upside. Don't overlook him in NL-only leagues ... First baseman Hunter Morris and second baseman Scooter Gennett are second-rate prospects, but both have the potential to contribute at some point this year. Judging by his power numbers in the minors, Morris could be something akin to Tyler Moore of the Nationals if Hart's injury frees up some at-bats for him, but the Brewers seem more inclined to go with perpetual disappointment Mat Gamel as their full-time first baseman. Gennett profiles as a contact hitter with doubles power. He likely won't factor unless Weeks gets hurt.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Rangers don't intend to start Delino DeShields at second base
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:38 pm ET) Rangers center fielder Delino DeShields played three innings at second base on Sunday, but the Rangers have no intentions to start him at the position in the immediate future, the Dallas Morning News reports.

"We like what Delino has given us at this point," manager Jeff Banister said. "He’s shown aptitude and instincts. He’s shown maturity in his at-bats. We are trying to find ways to keep him engaged and at the top of the lineup, because when he is on base, he scores runs. I don’t think we can put too much on his plate, but I don’t want to pile it so that things are falling off the edges."

A Rule 5 pick this offseason, DeShields has hit .265/.378/.373 with 10 RBI, 21 runs and 11 stolen bases in 83 at-bats.


Yankees' Slade Heathcott (quad) scratched Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:21 pm ET) Yankees center fielder Slade Heathcott has been scratched from Thursday's lineup against the A's due to a sore right quad, YES reports.

Heathcott has started four of the last six games in center field, but he'll be replaced by Chris Young due to the injury. Heathcott is 6 for 17 with one home run and three RBI in six games.

The Yankees are road favorites (-110) in Oakland on Thursday, per VegasInsider.com.


Orioles send Tyler Wilson to Triple-A Norfolk
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:05 pm ET) The Orioles sent pitcher Tyler Wilson back to Triple-A Norfolk following Thursday's doubleheader against the White Sox.

Wilson gave up two runs in six innings while starting Game 1 of the doubleheader, which was lost by the Orioles. He returns to a 2-4 record with a 3.29 ERA and 32:7 K:BB ratio in 41 innings over eight starts with Norfolk.


Orioles closer Zach Britton earns 13th save Thursday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7:54 pm ET) Six appearances. Six saves. That has been how the last 11 days have gone for Orioles closer Zach Britton.

Britton nailed another one down Thursday in the second game of a doubleheader against the White Sox. He finished with a flourish, fanning pinch-hitter Alexei Ramirez.

He has pitched scoreless ball in 16 of his 19 games.


White Sox slugger Adam LaRoche blasts fifth home run Thursday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(7:50 pm ET) Adam LaRoche followed up his three-hit performance from the first game of the White Sox doubleheader with the Orioles with a two-run home run in the nightcap. LaRoche's bomb was his fifth of the season, and first since May 13. 

His third-inning home run, his only hit of the game, gave the White Sox a temporary 3-2 lead. Though it wouldn't be enough as the Orioles went on to defeat the White Sox 6-3.  


Report: Athletics' Coco Crisp to miss a month after undergoing epidural
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(7:49 pm ET) Athletics outfielder Coco Crisp will undergo an epidural Friday, which will sideline him for a month, reports the Bay Area News Group.

Crisp is on the 15-day disabled list with a neck injury. He is hitting .044 in 45 at-bats this season. He has not played since May 19.


Orioles SP Mike Wright merely mediocre, but snags second win
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7:45 pm ET) Orioles right-hander Mike Wright did not perform Thursday to the level he achieved in his first two starts, but that would have been virtually impossible. He had not allowed a run in two starts going in.

He pitched well enough in his latest outing to raise his record to 2-0, holding the White Sox to three runs on six hits in five innings in the second game of a doubleheader. He walked none and fanned two.

Wright was plagued by the long ball. He began the game by yielding a home run to Adam Eaton and gave up a two-run shot to Adam LaRoche in the third.

The runs he allowed were the first in three starts. He will try to keep up the good work next Tuesday in Houston.


White Sox CF Adam Eaton goes yard in nightcap on Thursday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(7:45 pm ET) White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton got off to a good start in the second game of Thursday's doubleheader against the Orioles. Eaton led off the top of the first inning with his second home run of the season, giving the team an early 1-0 lead. It wouldn't stand up, however, as the Orioles defeated the White Sox 6-3. 

The home run was Eaton's only hit of the game, after a 1 for 3 performance in the first game. Despite his low .238 batting average, Eaton has now hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games. 


White Sox SP Chris Beck goes six innings in MLB debut
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(7:41 pm ET) White Sox right-hander Chris Beck, who made his Major League debut on Thursday, picked up the loss in the 6-3 defeat to the Orioles. Beck was recalled from Triple-A to start the second game of a doubleheader and went six innings in his debut. 

The 24-year-old allowed five runs (four earned) on 10 hits, while walking four and striking out three. He was visually nervous in his first time on a big-league mound, but all-in-all, it wasn't a bad performance. 

He gave up two runs in the first and third innings, and one in the sixth, accounting for the damage against him. 

Beck was optioned back to Triple-A Charlotte following Thursday's start, according to CSN Chicago. 


Rangers pitching prospect Alex Gonzalez could start Saturday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(7:35 pm ET) With the Rangers having optioned pitcher Phil Klein to Triple-A on Thursday, the team has not named a starter for Saturday's contest against the Red Sox. One option could be left-hander Ross Detwiler, who is currently on the disabled list and is not certain to be ready in time for Saturday.

Anthony Bass is another possibility, but he threw 4 1/3 innings of relief on Wednesday, so he would not likely be able to give the Rangers very many innings in a start on Saturday.

The most likely scenario right now would be for the team to call up prospect Alex "Chi Chi" Gonzalez to make the start. Gonzalez was scratched from his start with Triple-A on Thursday, according to The Dallas Morning News. And the team did say he was not scratched due to a health issue, so it's possible a promotion could be in store for the young right-hander. 

Gonzalez, who was the team's first-round pick in the 2013 draft, has been pitching with Triple-A Round Rock this season and holds a 4.15 ERA over 43 1/3 innings. 


 
 
 
Rankings