To make everything less complicated, I’m going to set my lineup adjusted for platoons at second and first base. I’ll put my lineup out there and then explain some of my thought process.
Segura, Gomez, Lucroy, Braun, Ramirez, Gennett, Francisco, Davis
Time for explanations. The lead-off role is a lot less important than generally perceived, and I think National League managers are starting to get a greater grasp of this. Nicholas wrote a gem on the lead-off role and how it pertains to the Brewers, so I recommend reading that to learn more. You want your lead-off guy to be one of the 3 best hitters and one that gets on base, so I’m fine with either Segura or Gomez or even Gennett/Weeks. Whichever one can get on base most consistently is fine with me.
Your other two best hitters go second and fourth. The one generally with more power is the cleanup hitter, which is clearly Braun over Lucroy. The third hitter is generally considered to be the “best high-average hitter” in most lineups, but he actually comes to bat with runners in scoring position less than the second hitter. I like Gomez’s pop and speed high in the lineup, but not the strikeouts–which are what’s keeping him out of the lead-off role for me.
Ramirez hits fifth. Your fourth-best hitter, preferably one with both power and average goes here, and I’m more comfortable with Ramirez in a run-producing role than I am with Gomez.
From six-through-nine you put your remaining hitters in order of declining ability. Davis could hit sixth and I’d have no problem bumping him up, but I want to break up Gennett and Francisco because FJF couldn’t hit a lefty if his life depended on it.
“Who’s the next ex-Brewer who’s going to get near the Hall of Fame?” –@mikelinny
Word on the street is that Derrick Turnbow took a trip to Cooperstown this winter, but couldn’t muster up the courage to walk into the Hall, so I guess it was, technically, him.
But all jokes aside (please pardon that last one, it’s 2 am over winter break right now), it’s hard to think of anyone besides Trevor Hoffman that will be next. He’s not eligible until the 2016 ballot, but him and Mariano Rivera stand out as the only two HoF-worthy closers from their era. 601 saves, 2.87 era, seven All Star appearances, and no PED links should be a good enough case…even though I don’t want to leave anything up to the BBWAA writers. At all.
Other ex-Brewers names that come to mind for getting close are Prince Fielder (if he can hit 500-550 homers I see the Hall in his future) and CC Sabathia (he has an outsider’s chance at this point but needs a lot of work yet) to, of course, go along with Jody Gerut. And then there’s Ryan Braun but that’s a topic for a whole other day. If there’s anyone I’m forgetting about, let me know.
“Is Ron Roenicke on the hot seat this season?”
Roenicke’s current contract runs through the end of the 2014 season with a club option for 2015. The general feel that I get is Doug Melvin likes RRR, but isn’t committed to the now fourth-year skipper of the Brewers. In all fairness, though, it’s not like the front office has given Roenicke a team that’s expected to make the postseason either of the last two seasons. The situations in which he opts to bunt and his “-y” nicknames (Gomey, Brauny, Khrisy (?), Ramy) have probably taken a year or two off my lifespan, but I don’t think there’s a ton of pressure on Roenicke for the Brewers to make the playoffs this year. That said, I don’t expect a low-70 win season to sit well with Melvin and Attanasio, who have both shown a “win now” attitude in their time with Milwaukee.
To answer, I wouldn’t quite say Roenicke’s on the hot seat this season, but if the Brewers don’t make any strides forward (maybe win 80 games), a lot more people will be calling for his job.
To get involved with the weekly DoU Twitter Mailbag, follow Curt on Twitter @CyrtHogg. Each Wednesday he opens the forum for questions to be answered in the Thursday Mailbag.