20 Milwaukee Brewers

April 05, 1987

Remember that old Milwaukee infield—Cooper, Gantner, Yount, Molitor? Why, it was as stable as Swiss currency. Now it's beginning to look like Swiss cheese. Cecil Cooper won't be back at first base. He's the designated hitter, and Greg Brock, brought over by trade from the Dodgers, is his replacement. Second baseman Jim Gantner had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee this spring, and he might not be ready on Opening Day. Ernest Riles, the shortstop since Robin Yount moved to the outfield two years ago, won't be available until mid-May because of an off-season finger laceration. Third baseman Paul Molitor remains, but he spends as much time in the infirmary as in the infield.

The outfield seems a bit more predictable. Flanking Yount in center will be free-swinging slugger Rob Deer (33 homers, 179 strikeouts) and Glenn Braggs, a 24-year-old Adonis playing only his first full season. Bill Schroeder, he of the eternal potential, is the catcher, unless heavy-hitting rookie B.J. Surhoff supplants him. The starters will be 20-game winner Teddy Higuera, Juan Nieves, Mike Birkbeck, Bill Wegman and maybe even Pete Vuckovich.

New manager Tom Trebelhorn, who has a social science degree from Portland State, worked in the off-season as a substitute teacher. As for what he'll do next winter, he says, "I'm hoping we'll be so successful that I'll be too busy to teach." But it might not be a bad idea to dust off the old lesson plans.

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ILLUSTRATION

PLAYER
KEY STATS

P

H

COMMENTS

P. MOLITOR
.281, 55 RBIs, 20 SBs

3B

R

Has hit .300 or better with runners on in each of last three years.

R. YOUNT
.312, 46 RBIs, 14 SBs

CF

R

First player to lead AL in fielding in the outfield ('86) and at an infield position ('81).

G. BRAGGS
.237 in 215 ABs

RF

R

.910 fielding percentage worst for AL outfielder since Leon Wagner's .895 for '68 Indians.

G. BROCK
.234, 16 HRs, 52 RBIs

1B

L

.058 batting average in Late-Inning Pressure Situations last year.

C. COOPER
.258, 12 HRS, 75 RBIs

DH

L

Has hit for higher average vs. lefties than vs. righties in each of last three years.

R. DEER
.232, 33 HRs, 86 RBIs

LF

R

One homer every 14.1 at bats, 2nd best rate in majors last year.

B. SCHROEDER
.212 in 217 ABs

C

R

Has hit .140 with runners in scoring position over his career.

D. SVEUM
.246, 7 HRs, 35 RBIs

SS

S

His .865 fielding percentage at 3B lowest since Germany Schaefer (.865) in 1902.

J. GANTNER
.274, 38 RBIs, 13 SBs

2B

L

A good chance to become alltime fielding champion at 2B this year.

T. HIGUERA
20-11, 2.79 ERA

SP

L

Only AL pitcher who got fewer than 4 runs per start to have a winning record.

J. NIEVES
11-12, 4.92 ERA

SP

L

Record could have been worse: a 5.52 ERA in 11 no-decision starts.

B. WEGMAN
5-12, 5.13 ERA

SP

R

Led league with 15 starts in games decided by one run.

P. VUCKOVICH
2-4, 3.06 ERA

SP

R

Insufficient data.

D. PLESAC
14 SVs, 2.97 ERA

RP

L

As a rookie, had the lowest ERA at any level of his professional career.

M. CLEAR
16 SVs, 2.20 ERA

RP

R

Home run by Rich Gedman on June 5 was first by a lefthanded hitter since 1983.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)