The Brewers already have their lineup posted for today's season opener against the Braves:
Today's Opening Day #Brewers lineup vs. Atlanta at Miller Park. First pitch 1:10 CT on @fswisconsin and @620wtmj! pic.twitter.com/2C9XmU8gSr— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) March 31, 2014
Lyle Overbay is going to make me a very conflicted man this year, particularly at the beginning of the season. On the one hand, he is/was a fan favorite and a real nice player for the Brewers years ago. He's also supposed to be the left-handed guy in this first base platoon, so he should be starting against right-handed pitching like Julio Teheran. He also hit .258/.317/.432 against righties last year vs. Mark Reynolds' .218/.298/.386 line against the same. So, sure, play the splits and all that.
On the other hand, I am just not at all excited to see Lyle Overbay in 2014 getting any sort of significant playing time. This 37-year-old Overbay is not the same player as he was in 2004. He had a 688 OPS last year. He had a 670 OPS two years before that. He couldn't hit worth a lick in spring training for the most part, either! The Mark Kotsay comparisons have been made enough already, but they are apt. The Brewers had a decent platoon option in Juan Francisco and they threw him away. Now we're stuck with Overbay. I hope he makes me eat these words and has a renaissance season, but I kind of doubt it.
The other notable decision today: Scooter Gennett is already getting the nod over Rickie Weeks. I guess the Brewers are trying the straight righty/lefty split at second base, too. Gennett did destroy right-handed pitching to the tune of a 946 OPS last year, but I don't think the Brewers will stick with a strict platoon all year. My guess is Rickie Weeks either plays himself into or out of more playing time as the season progresses.
Carlos Gomez leading off is a little weird to me. I know the Brewers had been saying they might do it and all, and the whole getting your better players more at-bats thing is true. But he's kind of a strange lead-off hitter. He has the speed, yes, but until 2013 he never got on base well. Counting on him to maintain last year's pace may be asking for a lot, though we all hope it wasn't an aberration. It's not like it's a big deal and can't be changed later if he can't handle it. And it was probably either him or Jean Segura. I'm curious how it will turn out.