Just to gloat, Prince Fielder is hitting well for my Detroit Tigers… Moving on, anyways, if you haven’t noticed, the Brewers infield situation is a bit different from last year and a bit different from a couple weeks ago. Fielder for one is obviously gone. So is shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. Casey McGehee has been moved to the should-be-sponsored-by-McDonalds-Pittsburgh-Pirates-due-to-the-number-of-players-whose-name-starts-with-“Mc”. New additions have arrived. Travis Ishikawa is starting at first after getting the position when Mat Gamel went down with a season-ending injury who in turn inherited it from Fielder. Aramis Ramirez is over at the hot corner after coming over from the Cubs in free agency. And last but not least Cesar Izturis is at shortstop due to Alex Gonzalez’s injury. These moves have prompted the addition of journeyman Edwin Maysonet as well.
That’s probably too much turnover for four positions if we’re speaking frankly. The Brewers need the face of consistency in the infield. Not the wishy-washy-injury-ridden maladies that have befallen them.
All in all the Brew Crew needs new blood. They are buried in the standings behind the Pirates and Astros and could use some more production. Or at least an upgrade over what they’ve been getting.
Travis Ishikawa has been solid, but not spectacular at first base. He should be fine if Milwaukee’s brass can’t find a suitable replacement and/or platoon partner for him. If the brass decides to get another first baseman to split duties with or simply take them away from Ishikawa, then guys like Bryan LaHair, Ty Wigginton, John Mayberry Jr and possibly Justin Morneau could come up.
Over at shortstop however, there is a definite need for offensive help. Cesar Izturis is a good defender when he gets on the field. On the flip side, when he gets to the batter’s box, well let’s just say the ball doesn’t leave the yard and they don’t start blaring “We Want the Funk” with big writing that says “Funk Blast”. (My favorite ballpark “crowd energizer”, for lack of a better term, of all time). To give you an idea, his career high in homeruns is four, and that was in 2004. Since 2008, incidentally, he has hit, you guessed it, four homeruns. If that doesn’t scream offensive superstar, I’m really not sure what does.
So, if you haven’t guessed, Milwaukee needs another shortstop in lieu of Gonzalez’s injury and Izturis’ lack of “Funk Blasts”. If they stay in contention, expect names like Jason Bartlett, Betancourt, Jamey Carroll and Clint Barmes to come into play.
And after all that, if that screams “the Brewers need better infielders” to you, then… the screaming is right.