Adam McCalvy at the official site takes a look at the projected rotation for the 2006 Crew:
Despite Sheets' injury woes and 81 games at hitter-friendly Miller Park, pitching coach Mike Maddux got the most out of Brewers starting pitchers in 2005. Starters went 58-57 and ranked second of 16 National League teams with 796 strikeouts, fourth with a .253 batting average against and sixth with a 4.02 ERA.
It's still amazing to me that Doug Davis was 5th in the league in strikeouts. Doug is racking up not-quite-Tom-Glavine seasons, and we're getting the best of 'em. Just about everybody who took the mound in the first inning for Milwaukee last year deserves a pat on the back.
I do wish, however, that the myth of Miller Park being hitter-friendly would die a quiet death. It doesn't take anything away from the staff to admit that in 2005, Miller was neutral. In 2004, Miller was slightly pitcher-friendly. 2003? Basically neutral. The last time Milwaukee's home park was hitter-friendly beyond the margin of error was 1995.
Now that I've got that off my chest, we can move on!
In other words, we've got a smart GM. Like a couple of other teams. And unlike some others. Consider the depth chart at this point:
- Ben Sheets
- Doug Davis
- Chris Capuano
- Tomo Ohka
- Rick Helling
- Dave Bush
- Dana Eveland
- Justin Lehr
- Ben Hendrickson
- Zach Jackson
- Dennis Sarfate
Oh, and Jose Capellan can start (though he doesn't like to). I've always believed Matt Wise would make a great fifth starter if he wasn't pushed too far into games. Then there's Mike Jones and Manny Parra coming back from injury--remember, neither of those guys has ever even had a bad season...possibly slot Wade Miller in there somewhere...this is getting ridiculous.
In other words, if some unfortunate team needs a whole starting rotation (hello again, Kevin), Doug Melvin is the man to call.