It’s been a while since I have posted anything here on The Sombrero. The last couple of weeks have been really busy and perpetually stressful. I just finished up an exam period that consisted of 12 total tests. It’s break now, though, and I am back home where it is dumping on the mountain. I just got word that 15 fresh fell today, which gets the hill over 2 feet of new in the last 48, and it is supposed to pick up when the sun goes down. Griff, our homeboys the Meyers, and I are headed up in the morning, and it has the potential to be the best Day 1 of my life. A lot has happened since the last time I posted, but the holidays are getting underway nicely already. My dad is home from Australia and Grandma is coming down either Thursday or Friday.
As everyone rolled out of bed today, we checked our phones like we do every morning to make sure that nothing earth-shattering happened in the world of baseball overnight. This morning was one of those rare ones when something like that actually did (Arlo gave me a little heads up on it last night to tell you the truth). At least it was earth-shattering for the rest of the N.L. Central, because they discovered that the Milwaukee Brewers will have the best rotation in the division next season. If you’re from Milwaukee, Christmas came a little early this year in the form of former Cy Young winner, Donald Zackary Greinke.
The dude needs no introduction. He will immediately become one of the top 4 arms in the division alongside Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, and Yovani Gallardo. Yeah, they destroyed their farm system in the process of landing Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum – who we will discuss later – but their farm system was nothing to envy in the first place, and they did not give up a single high ceiling guy in the process. When one considers the package that the Nationals were contemplating sending to Kauffman, the Brewers look like they gave up a box of AAAA-ers by comparison. And for Greinke? A 27-year old who already has the CY hardware? Here’s the real scary part, though: in Greinke’s life, he has never pitched a single out that actually made a difference in a season’s outcome. The most important pitches of his life have come in the form of award-chasing, and I for one am psyched and a little afraid of what this guy is capable of when his pitches actually matter. The hitters in the Central should be terrified.
Greinke will finish the year with around 220 innings pitched, 210 K’s, a 3.5 K/BB, and a .300 OBP (because the dude can rake). He will challenge for the Cy Young with those numbers. Next in the rotation is Gallardo. No need to discuss him really. We know who he is. He will be right around 210 IP, 220 K’s, and a 3.0 K/BB if he takes the ball every turn. Oh yeah, he will be 26 in 2011. Next is one of my favorite pitchers in the game: the great Shaun Marcum. Shaun had quietly positioned himself as one of the top 5 arms in the AL East before departing for the safer confines of the NL Central in a trade that sent a young, high ceiling 2B named Brett Lawrie, to Yugoslavia. Maybe it was Denmark. It was somewhere weird, though.
Anyway, Marcum posted a 1.15 WHIP with a 3.8 K/BB in 195 innings in 2010. He did this in the worst division in baseball and just a year removed from Tommy John. Now he gets to throw to a pitcher twice a night as well as the Pirates, Cubs, and Astros! Now that the dude isn’t playing in America’s hat anymore, let’s see if everyone can’t fall in love with this man the way I have.
The rest of the rotation consists of Randy Wolf, one of the best 4’s in the game now, and Chris Narveson, who should get torched most nights…but he’s a 5 and he’s got age and Earth’s rotation on his side.
Here’s the best part for the Brewers, though, they still employ the fat vegan, Prince Fielder. They won’t beyond this year, so now is their time considering that they also have Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, Ryan Braun, and Casey McGehee. They can swing it. They all have age on their side, and even though they look like they have never taken a round of fungo, Gomez at least can play some D in center and should now receive the bulk of the AB’s since Cain bounced.
As of right now, I predict the Central finishes in this order: Brewers, Cardinals, Reds, Astros, Cubs, and Pirates. It’s early, but I think Doug Melvin has had arguably the best winter of anyone including Amaro. And of course KT. As far as this site is concerned, KT is number one as long as Eat-a is in Phoenix.
Nothing like sweet trades to get us through the winter right? Sweet trades and snow.