I have a vested interest in the success of the Milwaukee Brewers. I am a big fan of many of their players, and and also excited to see prospects like Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, and J.J. Hardy climb their way onto the major league roster. Russ Branyan is one of my favorite players, and probably the main reason I am so interested in this team. Ben Sheets is also a joy to watch on the mound, and is sure to be one of the dominating arms for the next decade along with other young hurlers like Jeremy Bonderman, Zach Greinke, Jake Peavy, and Rich Harden.
I think Milwaukee's time is closer than anyone anticipates (well, outside of Milwaukee itself of course). The team this year is playing at .500 (15-15) but their pythagenport record suggests they are capable of much more, as shown by their very good Runs Scored vs. Runs allowed ratio. Milwaukee has scored 143 runs and allowed 129, which would bring us to this equation to figure their pythangeport record:
.45 + 1.5 x log10((rs + ra)/ g) = X
You get your run environment exponent for the next equation from this.
.45 + 1.5 x log10((143 + 129)/ 30) = 3.386171474
The next formula is:
rs^X(rs^X + ra^X) = Win Percentage
So we come out to this figure after plugging in X:
Multiple that by 162 games, and you come out to roughly 95 wins. 95-67 is the Brewers expected record with the way they are playing at the moment. Think about that for a second; a Brewers team that finished 67-94 last year, and was outscored by 123 runs, is on pace to win in the mid-90's just a year later. This is exciting news not because of what could happen this year, but what happens when a future star like Prince Fielder joins the roster? When Chris Capuano and Victor Santos mature fully as pitchers? It will be a team capable of competing in Milwaukee for the first time in ages.
Doug Melvin is a huge part of what will be a successful franchise in the coming years. His ability to pick up free talent and make trades that help out his ballclub in the longrun are a must as a general manager on a small market team. For example, the Brewers got Lyle Overbay, Junior Spivey, Craig Counsell, Chad Moeller, the aforementioned Capuano, and Jorge de la Rosa for the price of Richie Sexson and Shane Nance. Richie Sexson already moved on to richer waters with the Seattle Mariners, and Shane Nance has never done anything worthwhile. Overbay led the NL in doubles last year, and is filling in until Prince Fielder can take over. He should fetch a trade or move elsewhere defensively when the time comes. Craig Counsell hit poorly but was excellent defensively last season, Junior Spivey is holding on to second base until Rickie Weeks is ready to take over, and de la Rosa has put up better numbers than Nance did.
Capuano is a pitcher who may have a bright future. The Brewers lack in serious pitching history; prior to Ben Sheets, their best pitcher was most likely Teddy Higuera. Capuano's current numbers look like so:
K/BB: 33/18 (1.83)
His peripherals are down so far this year, but he may just be learning how to pitch more effectively, such as Bonderman with his falling K/9 rate and improving everything else. His DERA is better than last year, so that is a good sign. Interesting player to watch, especially considering everything else they got for Sexson along with him, and the fact that they would be Sexson-less at the moment if they had not traded him in the first place.
Along with Ben Sheets and Doug Davis, Capuano should help form a successful 1-3 portion of the rotation in the coming years. With a lineup succeeding at the moment without the help of newcomer Carlos Lee, (.258/.316/.452 so far in 05') who was supposed to bring punch to the team, and an emerging Russ Branyan (I can see a .250/.360/.500 season, and you will too if the Brew Crew keeps playing him at third) this is a team that will go places in the future. The city of Milwaukee deserves a winning team after so many years of frustration. I bought my old school logo Brewers hat this weekend to help cheer on a team that I would love to see at the top of the standings in the near future.