What we learned this week: September 14, 2013

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

This week's lessons include how to plan for 2014, how the Brewers spend their money, and how the roster could be improved next season.

Kid Nichols is the best baseball player born in Wisconsin in the month of September.

Over the past several months, we have run a series on the best baseball players born in Wisconsin. September's entry came out, and the player chosen for September is Kid Nichols, a baseball player back in the 1890s and 1900s, He leads several categories in the history of Wisconsin baseball, though it came in a different time. It's hard to consider some of these players since they played in a different time, but it's always worth learning about the history of baseball.

Calendar publishers will have a tough time deciding who to put in next year's Brewers calendar.

In a couple of months, we will start to see the calendars come out for 2014. The Brewers will have their own calendar, as usual, and it's anyone's guess about who will be on it. Kyle considered this topic earlier this week and put together his ideal lineup for the 2014 calendar. Some of the other members of BCB also put up their guesses for next season's calendar. After a rough season, the options for next year may not look as good, but the Brewers can find 12 good pictures to use. It won't be long before we see what will be on the calendar.

The 2014 schedule is out and it features some interesting AL opponents.

As usual at this time of year, MLB released their schedule for the next season, and we get to take a peek at what is coming up next year. Some of the highlights include Brewers opening day on March 31, a series against the Red Sox in the first weekend (the earliest in a Brewers schedule an interleague series has occurred), a visit from the Yankees (and possibly the return to CC Sabathia), and a home-and-home series against the Blue Jays. It's never too early to start planning for next season. Time to pick out some of the most interesting series and make some plans for a trip to Miller Park in 2014 (or maybe another stadium somewhere around the country, or outside of it).

The little speck of hope we still had for a postseason run or even a winning record is gone.

This is more of a side note than anything else, since we had given up on a playoff run or even a winning season a while ago. With the Brewers 81st and 82nd losses earlier this week, the Brewers have guaranteed a losing season, and have also been officially knocked out of playoff contention. If you need something more positive to consider, the Brewers also gained their 63rd win, guaranteeing that they won't have a 100 loss season.

The Brewers are in the final round of the playoffs...in the Pioneer League.

Only one team in the Brewers system made their league's playoffs, and it was all the way down in the rookie Pioneer league. They have made it into the playoffs in their league, and with a sweep in the first round, are also in the finals of their playoffs. At least one team will have some success in the Brewers system this year.

The Brewers rotation will have six pitchers to finish the year.

Starting pitchers tend to start wearing out around this time of year, and it's up to the team to prevent the pitchers from hurting themselves. The Brewers helped combat this in September by deciding to go to a six-man rotation, which they finalized earlier this week. The six-man rotation will help keep starters fresh while giving the Brewers a chance to look at a future starting option by putting Johnny Hellweg in the rotation. Tyler Thornburg is also a part of that rotation and is making his own case to be included in the rotation plans. If the Brewers decide to trade Kyle Lohse or Yovani Gallardo in the offseason, the rotation will need some help. The Brewers need to know if their internal options can be counted on if needed.

Yuniesky Betancourt has hit more incentives that he should have.

When Yuniesky Betancourt signed with the Brewers back before the season, we saw the incentives in his contract and thought he would never come close to meeting them. Kyle took a look at his incentives and the incentives of other Brewers players earlier this week, and Betancourt has been the player to benefit the most from incentives so far with 124 games played (and will probably reach 130 for his next incentive though should avoid 140). Kyle Lohse could also jump in here, as he only needs 5.1 innings to hit a $350k incentive after last night's complete game. Some other incentives will come into play, but those are the biggest so far.

The Brewers continue to find ways to reward the fans.

Since Ryan Braun's suspension, the Brewers have been finding different ways to reward the fans because of the bad season. They added to that list on Wednesday by announcing their yearly Brewers On Deck event in January will be free for all fans. It's another nice move for Brewers fans, and it will help the team build some hype for the 2014 season. Will this entice more people to go to the event? We will have to see.

Burke Badenhop has been lost in the bullpen.

Michael Gonzalez has been used a lot in the Brewers bullpen, and has struggled in many of the situations that he has been used in this season. Despite these struggles, he still is used in these situations even though other options are available. Kyle looked at Burke Badenhop, one of those potential options, earlier this week. The Brewers traded for Badenhop as part of the bullpen reconstruction in the offseason, and he was seen as an integral part of the new bullpen. However, his usage has been more in low leverage situations. Should he be used more often?

Finding ways to improve the roster never stops.

Even though the season is almost over, the Brewers never stop looking for ways to improve their team in the short or long run. On Friday, they added to their 40-man roster by claiming Jose de la Torre off of waivers. He had been a part of the Brewers organization before and is rejoining them now, reporting to rookie-level Helena (the only active minor league team) for a late-season evaluation. It might just be a minor-league move, but the team is still looking for ways to get better, even at this stage of the season.

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