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
Downloadable Draft Kit
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
Report: Royals trade RHP Crow to Marlins for lefty Flynn
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:24 pm ET) The Royals have swapped right-hander Aaron Crow to the Marlins for southpaw Brian Flynn, according to Fox Sports Insider Ken Rosenthal.

Crow, who had been pitching for Kansas City since 2010, struggled at times in 2014 despite a 6-1 record. His 4.12 ERA was nearly a point higher than what he compiled the previous year. Flynn has pitched in just six major league games over the past two seasons.


RHP Anthony Swarzak opts for free agency
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:04 am ET) Right-handed reliever Anthony Swarzak has declined an assignment by the Twins to Triple-A Rochester in favor of free agency, a team source has told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Swarzak had been a mainstay since 2009 in Minnesota, but struggled in 2014, compiling a 4.60 ERA and allowing 100 hits in 86 innings pitched.


RHP Michael Kohn dispatched by Rays to Durham
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:59 am ET) The Rays have outrighted right-hander Michael Kohn to Triple-A Durham a week after designating him for assignment.

Kohn has twice cleared waivers, but could get a chance in spring training to earn a spot on the 40-man roster or land with the big club.


RHP Jason Frasor staying with Royals
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:46 am ET) The Royals have maintained strength and depth in their bullpen by re-signing right-hander Jason Frasor to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2016. The deal guarantees Frasor $1.7 million

Frasor, who was added in July, sported a 3-0 record and 1.53 ERA in 23 appearances for Kansas City in 2014. He won both his decisions in the postseason.


Report: Melky Cabrera not interested in playing on artificial surface
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:48 am ET) The chances of free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera returning to the Blue Jays aren't looking good, and it may be because of Toronto's playing surface.

According to Buster Olney of ESPN on Thursday, Cabrera's preference is to sign with a team other than the Blue Jays so he doesn't have to play his home games on artificial surface. The Blue Jays play in Rogers Centre, which uses Astroturf Gameday Grass. At home last season, Cabrera slashed .304/.352/.454 with seven home runs and 38 RBI over 273 at-bats.


Shane Victorino: 'I should be the starting right fielder' for Red Sox
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:33 am ET) Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino believes he should be the team's starting right fielder in 2015 amidst a crowded group of contenders, WEEI.com reports.

"If you think there’s somebody better in right, be my guest," Victorino said. "Obviously health will dictate that. But if I’m healthy if there’s a better outfielder in right field then show me and go out there and do it. I’m not saying that in a cocky or arrogant way. It’s just how confident I am to know I should be the starting right fielder. There are things to come into play and situations to be discussed.

"I plan on being healthy and out there and ready to go. Like I said, it’s my job. I don’t think there’s anybody can tell me differently. If they feel there is from an organization’s standpoint it is what it is. As I’ve said, whatever uniform it may be I’m going to go out there and give 100 percent and be the best I can be. Obviously I want it to be a Red Sox uniform and be a right fielder, but I can’t control decisions that are made from up top."

Victorino will swing a bat Monday for the first time since undergoing back surgery. "Everything feels great," he said. "There hasn't been any setbacks."


Report: Tigers, White Sox show interest in Justin Masterson
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/27/2014) The Tigers and White Sox have joined the Royals, Twins and Cubs as teams to show interest in free-agent pitcher Justin Masterson, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Masterson's agent is scheduled to meet with teams over Thanksgiving weekend. The pitcher struggled in 2014, going 7-9 with a 5.88 ERA in 25 starts.


Reds sign Brennan Boesch to minor league deal
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(11/26/2014) The Reds have signed outfielder Brennan Boesch to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. Boesch, 29, is a career .256/.309/.412 hitter over five seasons for the Tigers, Yankees and Angels.

He was in the minors for most of last season, hitting .332 with 25 homers for the Angels Triple-A affiliate. 


Royals acquire infielder Ryan Jackson from Dodgers
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(11/26/2014) The Royals have acquired infielder Ryan Jackson from the Dodgers for cash considerations. Jackson was out for most of last season with a wrist injury. 

Jackson hit .278 with 34 RBI at Triple-A Memphis, playing 122 games at shortstop and third base in 2013.


Report: Talks break down between Yanks, Phils about Rollins deal
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(11/26/2014) The Yankees and Phillies reportedly discussed a deal for 35-year-old shortstop Jimmy Rollins before talks broke down, according to ESPN reporter Jayson Stark.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Rollins is "one of the best shortstops in baseball still" but wouldn't confirm Yankees interest in the veteran. Amaro also said Rollins is "somebody we want on our club and would be very hard to replace."

Rollins is due $11 million this season and his contract is up at the end of 2015. Rollins hit .243 with 55 RBI and stole 28 bases in 2014. 


 
 
 
Rankings