This Weekend's Results
Royals 5, Brewers 4 (Friday)
Ryan Braun returned to Miller Park and was well-received, though it also helped that he had a double and a three-run home run. However, outside of Braun, the rest of the Brewers offense was stagnant, and a small-ball fourth inning from the Royals led them to a 5-4 win.
Brewers 7, Royals 2 (Saturday)
On Saturday, the offense performed much better. Led by Logan Schafer's 3-for-4 day with two RBI in the leadoff spot, the Brewers scored seven runs on ten hits. Meanwhile, Marco Estrada was on his game, pitching five shutout innings and allowed only two runs. Overall, it was also a well-pitched game, with the exception of Francisco Rodriguez, who allowed both Royals runs in the ninth inning.
Ryan Braun's deal is very team friendly.
At the end of last week, the two players that finished 1-2 in the AL MVP race the last two years signed massive deals. It started with Miguel Cabrera signing an eight-year, $248 million extension. It was followed up by a six-year, $144.5 million extension for Mike Trout. Miguel Cabrera will earn an average of $31 million a season, and Mike Trout will get $33.25 million in each of the last three years of his deal. Noah took the opportunity to look back at Ryan Braun's deal, where his max salary in a year is $19 million. Considering what recent MVPs and MVP candidates are getting, the Brewers got Ryan Braun locked into a deal at the right time.
With the regular season here, it's time to really analyze the schedule.
Game 1 of 162 is today. When you look at the schedule, game 1 is just as important as game 162. Getting a good start is important as a good finish, but the Brewers could have a tough time getting that start. The first week of the season features tough opponents with the Braves and Red Sox on the schedule. Derek analyzed these first two series and wonders if the Brewers caught a break with the matchups they will face. Some factors breaking in the Brewers favor may help their season out, and even collecting one extra win this week could be critical.
Of course, that's just 6 out of the 162 games this year. With so many games, it can be hard to plan your life so you can watch/listen to as many games as possible, and then do enough to enjoy the rest of your life. Yesterday, we posted a quick primer for the season, breaking down the schedule and how it will affect your plans. While it's not a complete look at the season, it should help you plan out which days of the week you can watch games and which days you can plan to do something else.
The Brewers will probably never be one of the most valuable franchises in MLB.
While investing in a MLB team still appears to be a good investment, the Brewers probably won't be one of the most valuable franchises anytime soon. With Forbes releasing their franchise values, Noah took the opportunity to analyze the Brewers chances of improving their ranking. His conclusion was that with the state of baseball, their ranking won't improve anytime soon. Of course, that doesn't change the fact that Mark Attanasio is getting a great return on his investment.
Jean Segura avoided the DL and will start on Opening Day.
Jean Segura missed the final spring training games, and there was serious concern that he would have to start the season on the DL. The Brewers were waiting until the last minute to decide if Segura would go on the DL or not, and after having a good infield practice session, it looked like he would avoid the DL. That was confirmed on Sunday when the Brewers 25-man roster was finalized, with Jean Segura on the roster instead of the DL. Hopefully he is ready for the first game, though some rust may be expected in the first games.
As Opening Day arrives, we have some final notes for the Brewers.
Yovani Gallardo will make the start on Opening Day, and it will be his fifth consecutive Opening Day start. However, this year, his mind will be clearer as the season begins. Few people were aware as last season began that Gallardo's mom had died the previous Thanksgiving. This revelation may explain some of Gallardo's struggles last year, including his DUI arrest in April. As he enters this year, his mind is clearer and his curveball is more effective than ever. With a potential contract year here, Gallardo could be set for an improvement in 2014.
There are a few last-minute notes we have to go through as Opening Day arrives. First of all, Plunk Everyone has a list of all of the Opening Day plunks in franchise history. Not surprisingly, Rickie Weeks leads the list with six. However, if he wants to add to that, he will need to do it in a pinch-hit appearance as he is not projected to be in today's lineup. Also, in a bit of news for the site, Prognostikeggers is returning to start the 2014 season. It took the 2013 season off, but a refined version of the game is back for the new season. Go check out the first post and how you can get involved in the game.
- SB Nation's MLB Preview came out on Friday, and Kyle has a piece in it about the Brewers. He notes that the Brewers have a shot to win the pennant this year.
- Enrique Bakemeyer of The Brewers Bar has ten questions about the Brewers as the 2014 season begins.
- Also, Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew has five things that he thinks will happen in the 2014 Brewers season.
- Kevin Kimmes of Cream City Cables previews the shortstop position as part of their position preview series.
- Nicholas Zettel of Disciples of Uecker finishes up their position preview series with a look at the long-relief situation.
- David Grant of Reviewing the Brew previews all of the Brewers prop bets, along with how he would bet on each of these.
- FanGraphs has a preview of the National League, though doesn't see much for honors for the Brewers.
- JSOnline has a list of ten things to watch in the National League. They also have a review of how the Brewers stack up against other NL Central teams. There is plenty of other articles previewing the Brewers season on their website.
- For a preview of the Brewers from the view of a Cardinals writer, Viva El Birdos has a preview for the 2014 season.
- Mike Oz of Big League Stew on Yahoo has thirty things you need to know entering the 2014 season, which includes a couple of things about the Brewers. Mark Townsend also ranks the thirty Opening Day pitchers, ranking Gallardo at #20.
- The ESPN SweetSpot blog has a list of fourteen questions entering the 2014 season.
- Gernaro Armas of the AP has a preview of the Braves-Brewers series, noting the preparations that the Brewers grounds crew has been doing to prepare the field for the season.
- Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew puts the Brewers at #16.
- Tim Brown of Yahoo starts the Brewers out at #24.
Minor League Notes
- Marcus Young of Miller Park Prospects has a preview of the Nashville Sounds.
- The Brewers signed catcher Connor Narron to a minor-league deal. Connor Narron is the son of Brewers bench coach Jerry Narron.
- They also released outfielder Greg Golson.
- The Brewer Nation continued their series of (Brewers By the Jersey) Number with a look at Elian Herrera.
- Over on JSOnline, Tom Haudricourt runs through a list of the top prospects currently in the Brewers system.
- MLB and the MLBPA released their enhanced testing and new penalties as part of the performance-enhancing dug testing program. Nathan Petrashek looks at this new system on Cream City Cables, and concludes that is better to be a Marlin under the new system.
- FanGraphs looks at ballpark factors for the strike zone. Inspired by the Brewers catchers, the article focuses partially on how Miller Park affects strike calls.
- Nick Michalski of The Brewers Bar has an interview with Rob Deer. In the interview, he talks about his hitting style, his new project, and the Brewers logo.
Lighter Side of Baseball
- Brandon Kintzler lost a bet, and as a result, he served as the Brewers batboy on Friday. John and Cait have some pictures of his experience on their blog.
- It's also the time of year where soda displays are built to represent different things about the Brewers. John and Cait found a creative one featuring the racing sausages and Hank the ballpark pup.
Nothing important today, just the first game of the regular season. The Brewers will face the Braves at 1:10 pm today. Yovani Gallardo will make his fifth straight Opening Day start, and he will face Julio Teheran. Roof status has already been announced, it will be closed today. Tom Haudricourt has the projected lineup for the game as well. For those of you who aren't going to the game, make sure to have the game going on your TV, and come to Brew Crew Ball and join us in the Gamethread. (Also, don't forget to make your predictions for Prognostikeggers.)