Spring training site: Maryvale Baseball Park, Phoenix,
Reporting dates: Feb. 14 for pitchers and catchers, Feb. 20 for position players
Spring Training Schedule
2017 Record: 86-76 (Second place in NL Central)
Pure Sports Network offseason power rankings: No. 14 (third in NL Central)
Projected batting order
- Jonathan Villar, 2B
- Eric Thames, 1B
- Ryan Braun, OF
- Travis Shaw, 3B
- Domingo Santana, OF
- Stephen Vogt, C
- Orlando Arcia, SS
- Keon Broxton, OF
- Zach Davies, RHP
- Chase Anderson, RHP
- Brent Suter, LHP
- Jhoulys Chacin, RHP
- Yovani Gallardo, RHP
- Brandon Woodruff, RHP
Newcomers: The pitching rotation receives a boost and some much-needed depth with the additions of Jhoulys Chacin on a two year, $15.5 million deal and the return of Yovani Gallardo on a one year, $2 million deal after brief stints with the Rangers, Orioles and Mariners.
Notable non-roster invitees: TBA
Key decision for spring: The club will have to assess whether second baseman Jonathan Villar can return to 2016 form (.285 BA, 18 HR) after a poor 2017 campaign (.241 BA, 11 HR). If he fails to show signs of improvement the Brewers may consider bringing up prospect Mauricio Dubon who hit .368 in 19 at-bats in spring training in 2017 before batting .272 in Triple A last season. This is unlikely to happen as Vila is still young himself and will be given the benefit of the doubt from the start, but if he struggles don’t be surprised if changes are made.
Moves they still need to make: The Brewers signed lefty reliever Boone Logan to a one year, $2.5 million deal with a club option for 2019 today. It’s likely Logan takes over 8th inning duties as the Brewers look to sign more bullpen arms. The bullpen was a major weakness in 2017 for Milwaukee and to make a run it’s imperative they make some more additions to strengthen their pen. The have also been rumored to be a potential landing spot for free-agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain recently, but there’s nothing concrete to report just yet.
2018 outlook: 2018 will be an interesting season for this Brewers club. On one hand their lineup is solid and looks to be playoff-caliber while on the other their pitching staff does appear to have some shortcomings. In order for them to get out of the middle of the pack and have a real shot at making the postseason, they’ll need their pitching staff to go for more innings in 2018 and their bullpen to be more effective. This team has the potential to make strides forward this year, whether they will or not will be an exciting storyline to follow this season.