The Fates of Forty Men 2009 – Part 1: Summing Up

I wanted to offer up my commentary and thoughts on the Brewers roster as we close out the 2009 season and prepare to hot stove it to spring training.  Last year, I took about a day to think through what would happen with each man on the Brewers’ 40-man roster in the off-season.  It was a really long post.  This year, I’m going to split it up, and I’m starting today, just hours after the Crew completed their sweep of St. Louis to head into the off-season at 80-82, and out of the playoffs.

Way back on February 10, I posted a short bit about Baseball Prospectus’s 2009 predictions and thought it would be interesting to come back to them at the end of the year, to see how everything shaped up.  Overall, they weren’t very close.  They did not project one division winner in all of MLB, and in at least 4 cases (Arizona, Cleveland, Oakland, NY Mets), they weren’t even remotely close.  Granted, these projections were based on a sum of individual player stat projections, but still– it demonstrates that if using math to project how a season will go is tough, guessing at it can only be tougher.

The Prospectus wasn’t too far off on the Brewers’ record, though.  Only missed by three games.  And it’s been well-documented that the Crew contended with a lot of injuries in addition to their generally spotty pitching.  The pros saw it that way, but as a fan, I didn’t want to.  I still think that if Rickie Weeks, Dave Bush, and Jeff Suppan hadn’t each missed a significant amount of time, we might’ve been a little closer when we got to the end of the season.  I think we would’ve had a winning year, anyway.

With the off-season on the horizon, there are a number of big questions facing the team that have been well-documented:

  • What are they going to do about the starting rotation?
  • What can they get for JJ Hardy?
  • Is it time to trade Prince?
  • Which free agents should be offered arbitration?
  • Are coaching changes really going to make a difference?

Over the next week or so, you’ll find out what I think about all the players currently on our 40-man, and what I think about these and other questions.  It’s going to be a slightly longer off-season, but I think we’ve got a foundation that’s solid, and with the right moves, the Brewers could be playing in the post-season again in 2010.

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