This is Part 1 of a 30-part series of team-by-team analyses of
the 2005 MLB Season. Bookmark http://www.futonreport.net/ for
the upcoming schedule as well as all past reports.
The Brewers were a very, very average team. And, given their past performances, they are very, very happy about that.
Given the previous three seasons they were in the cellar of the largest division in baseball, a third place finish and .500 record is an accomplishment for this young team.
The marquee move the previous year was Carlos Lee, who they acquired from the White Sox in exchange for base-thief Scott Podsednik. What they lost in speed they gained in power, as the man known as El Caballo (.265 avg., 32 HR, 114 RBI) filled a year-old void created by the departure of Richie Sexson. When Sexy left, they weren't gettin' any ... home runs.
One-man doubles factory Lyle Overbay (.267, 19 HR, 72 RBI) was the subject of some light trading rumors, as many teams were scrambling for a quality offensive first baseman. And with Prince Fielder as the heir apparent to that seat, Overbay may be the gatekeeper to more promising talent, although last year's numbers were not nearly as eye-popping as his breakout 2004 year, which included an NL-high 53 doubles.
Geoff Jenkins is becoming the elder statesman in this franchise. The 30-year-old Jenkins (.292, 25, 86) is one of the veteran leaders on this young squad, and any success next year will hinge on his performance.
Ben Sheets left the season early in August and another month in May, so his number (10-9, 3.33 ERA) were not those we are akin to seeing from the former Olympic team gold medalist.
Chris Capuano (18-12, 3.99 ERA) and Doug Davis (11-11, 3.83 ERA) emerged as the two dominant forces in an otherwise good rotation, and Derrick Turnbow (39 saves) helped anchor a modest bullpen. The entire pitching staff put together a respectable team ERA; in fact, they were only one of six NL teams with one under 4.00.
This team shows nothing but promise for 2006. Even if this same team takes the field next year, only one player is older than 33 (catcher Damian Miller). Owner Mark Attanasio shelled out $8.5 million's option for Lee's '06 option and he is not afraid to spend a little more to get the right personnel in to be competitive. With another pitcher, another batter and contributions from Fielder and the blossoming young'uns, this team could push 90 wins.