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Brewers Opening Day roster, etc.

Long time no see, friends o' the Crew--been a busy time in my life, got a lot of irons in the fire, but I'll do my best to stick around and contribute to the great job Jacob has been doing around here.

I thought I'd start my return by looking at who the Crew will feature come April.  Of course, many question marks remain and there are still deals to be done.  It wouldn't surprise me at all for Melvin to pick up another young guy to compete for the #5 pitching slot (a la Chad Gaudin to the A's last week), and Billy Hall always comes up in trade talks when teams are slumming (so they think) for a stopgap shortstop.  So, here goes.

Position players:

Damian Miller, C
Chad Moeller, C

Prince Fielder, 1B
Rickie Weeks, 2B
JJ Hardy, SS
Russ Branyan, 3B
Jeff Cirillo, IF
Billy Hall, IF

Carlos Lee, LF
Brady Clark, CF
Geoff Jenkins, RF
Gabe Gross, OF
Corey Hart, IF/OF


Ben Sheets, SP
Doug Davis, SP
Chris Capuano, SP
Tomo Ohka, SP
Dave Bush, SP

Derrick Turnbow, CL
Danny Kolb, RP
Matt Wise, RP
Dana Eveland, RP
Jorge de la Rosa, RP
Justin Lehr, SP/RP
Rick Helling, SP/RP

At this point, speculating on the makeup of the pitching staff is a bit ridiculous.  Just about anybody listed in the bullpen could be hurt or have a bad spring, leading to the inclusion of any one of Mike Adams, Jeff Bennett, Jose Capellan, Kane Davis, or Ben Hendrickson.  I'd particularly like to see Adams have a big spring.  I was looking at a thread on Baseball Think Factory a few days ago from right after the Pods/Caballo trade and was shocked at how far his stock has fallen from Opening Day 2005 -- this guy was our closer-in-waiting after a killer second half of '04!  

Just imagine--we'd never need a starter to go more than five innings again -- Wise and Adams pitch the 6th and 7th, Kolb gets the 8th, and Turnbow the 9th.  Of course, the best laid plans...but I'm not sure there's a better bullpen in baseball.  Heck, give Eveland the 5th inning every day and switch back to a 4-man rotation!  Maybe that's going a bit too far.

Russ Branyan has come up a lot in trade talks (to the Pirates?); he's very replaceable on this team, with Billy Hall possibly the starting 3rd baseman.  That would open up a spot for...I don't know who.  Maybe Corey Hart becomes a backup IF and Dave Krynzel gets the call, maybe Zach Sorenson comes up as...I don't know what purpose he would serve.  

Long story short, Doug Melvin has built a very inexpensive, very flexible team.  In anybody goes down early, there's someone credible to step in, except for maybe at catcher, where we can wonder about the merits of keeping Chad Moeller around for another year of batting .206.  

So, y'all, what's next?  Do we stand pat?  Do we focus our energies on laughing at the Cubs?