1. The Return of Yovani Gallardo
-Who knows where the Brewers would have ended up in 2008 in Gallardo had been healthy. However, Gallardo missed most of the season with a torn ACL and did not return until late September. In 2009, the Brewers will be depending on Gallardo to put up big numbers. The team no longer has the dynamic duo of CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets and the Brewers need Gallardo to show that he is indeed fit to become the Brewers new ace.
2. Prince Fielder
-Enjoy him while you can, Brewers fans. GM doug Melvin wisely gave Fielder a 2 year/$18 million dollar contract that buys out two of his remaining three arbitration years. However once this contract ends, the Brewers will probably have a tough time affording the loveable star. Unfortunately, there is a good chance that the Brewers will be forced to trade Fielder when the contract expires. So hopefully Fielder puts up gigantic numbers for the next two seasons and hits a number of mammoth home runs along the way.
3. Hells Bells
-Sure Solomon Torres did a good job closing last year, but there is no doubt that the Brewers needed a stable presence in the back end of the bullpen, especially with Torres now retired. Trevor Hoffman is a fantastic fit for the Brew Crew. Hoffman is one of the best closers of all time and knows how to shut the door on close games...a skill that will pay huge dividends for the Brewers. Oh yeah, Hoffman has one of the coolest entrances in all of baseball. Second only to Mariano Rivera in my opinion. Hopefully Hoffman brings Hells Bells with him to Milwaukee.
4. A Normal Lineup
-For some reason, former Brewers Manager Ned Yost thought it was a good idea to have the pitcher bat eighth. I never understood the thought process behind this maneuver. Thankfully, new Manager Ken Macha will have the pitcher bat ninth like every other team (minus the Cardinals). Baseball purists can now celebrate! Wooo!
5. More bad acting
C'mon...fastball advice from Chris Capuano! Don't they know he's a finesse pitcher! Maybe next time the Young and the Restless will ask Jason Kendall and Craig Counsell to talk about their power strokes.
Coming tomorrow: the Cincinnati Reds