In one of the final ESPN Power Rankings of the year, the Brewers remained where they were situated one week ago — the No. 21 position. This is good news for optimists that are holding out hope for a +1 spot in the coming weeks. That’s been on the to-do list since the beginning of the year and considering how well the Brewers have been playing as of late, they might just accomplish it.
Let’s discuss the way this team has been performing in the past week. We have to admire it. Sure, this team isn’t going to the playoffs (they’re two games away from being mathematically eliminated). But they’re our team that’s not going to the playoffs, and for that reason we can be happy. Though we’ll be missing from the October action, winning four of the last five games has been a bright spot to see. Also, it’s always fun to take a series from the Cubs at Wrigley.
As you probably noticed in my comments this week, I decided to shine the light on how Junior Guerra was shut down for the year. It was definitely the right decision to make (no ifs, ands or buts about it). He had reached his innings limit and there’s no risk in him having his elbow issues flare up again. Guerra concluded the year with yet another solid outing, this time against the Reds. He’s been the diamond in the rough during this rebuilding season. Without the play and coming up of Juni G, who knows where this team would be. It’s likely they wouldn’t be scraping close to 70 wins, that’s for sure. But players such as Guerra are why rebuilds can be “fun.” Players who might not receive the chance to play elsewhere get a chance to show what they’re made of and when given that chance like Guerra, they may succeed. It’s exciting to watch. Who would’ve imagined that he would be a legitimate candidate for Opening Day 2017 when the Brewers claimed him off waivers? (Besides Kyle Lesniewski, @brewerfan28 on Twitter — the biggest Junior Guerra fan you’ll ever meet)
Switching to the offensive side, Ryan Braun continues to show off his productivity. Wrigley can boo him all they want, but it won’t stop him. He’s continued to show that he has a spot on this team, even if they’re having the rebuild tag applied to them (even though the Brewers are beginning to step out of the rebuild phase). In other words, the farm has been assembled. The pieces are in place. Milwaukee has been deemed to have the top farm system in all of baseball. Sure, perhaps Braun could nab some prospects in return for a Yasiel Puig or something. But who’s to know if those prospects pan out? It’s hard to argue with Brauny’s numbers and then disagree with the tweet slogan of our friends over at Brew Crew Ball: #RyanBraunForever.
In the final weeks of the season, I’m just going to pray that the Brewers play well enough to slide up just one spot in the upcoming rankings. I’ve had my eyes set on making the top 20 since the beginning of April and my hope still runs at an all-time high. Yours should to, because this team is proving to the league that they’re not as bad as people think.