Next Six Games Will Answer Many Questions

on 07/11/2001

David Weathers will be sought after as the trading deadline nears.

On the surface, the first six games after the All-Star break look to be only six interleague border battles against the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox. But that could be farther from the truth.

In fact, over the next six games, five big questions involving the Brewers will likely be answered.

1. Will the Brewers swing a trade? While the All-Star break is three days off for most of the players in the majors, it is far from time off for general managers and personnel people. The All-Star break often brings most, if not all, of the general managers to one spot for three days, opening the door for trade talks to be discussed. Dean Taylor, Laurel Prieb and Wendy Selig-Prieb were all in Seattle for the All-Star festivities. Dont be surprised if Taylor has laid the seed for a deal to be made before the trade deadline.

2. Who (if anybody) will the Brewers look to trade for? During the first week and a half after the All-Star break, ballparks around the majors are usually littered with scouts from virtually every team, as personnel people get their final looks at a pitcher, a hitter, or a group of prospects which could be included in deals. Undoubtedly, scouts will be at Miller Park over the next six games to get their looks at Jose Hernandez, Devon White, and probably most important, David Weathers. The Brewers will surely do the same at other various venues.

3. How is the health of the team? The Brewers will know if the three days off have fully healed the nagging injuries of Geoff Jenkins, Jeromy Burnitz, Devon White, and others. Jeffrey Hammonds is also expected to begin to take batting practice on the next homestand.

4. Will the offense come back to life? Milwaukee will find out right away if the three days off helped their bats any, as the strong pitching staff of the Twins will hit Miller Park. The Crew will likely face three of the ALs better starters in Brad Radke, Eric Milton and Joe Mays, so fans will know right away if the lumber slumber, which has lasted now for about three weeks, will continue. Teams like the Twins, who win by pitching and defense, usually give the Brewers problems.

5. Can this team get hot and get back into contention? The next six games are vital if the Brewers are still entertaining any thoughts of post-season play. Both the Twins and White Sox are more than beatable teams, and the Brewers need to start playing well now if they wish to still be a factor in the race. Otherwise, Wisconsin sports fans will once again be talking Packer football instead of Brewer baseball in the middle of August.