The Milwaukee Brewers are coming off a sub-.500 season filled with inconsistency and injury.

Because of this, they fired Ken Macha and brought in Ron Roenicke, a former Angels player and third base coach. He was behind the signings of 2009 AL Pitcher of the Year and Cy Young Award winner Zach Greinke and outfielder Nyjer Morgan from the Nationals. He’s looking to make this ball club a more consistent one and a team that will be aggressive on the bases.

Here are five things that must happen in order for the Brewers to make the postseason.


1. Zach Greinke Must Stay Healthy After He Comes Back From the DL

Bringing in Zach Greinke was one of the best moves that the Brewers could have ever made in the offseason.

He won the AL Cy Young Award and AL Best Pitcher Award in 2009 and posted the lowest ERA in the majors in April with 0.50. He would go on to end the year with a 2.16 ERA.

He throws a four-seam fastball anywhere from 93-98 mph and has a 87-90 mph slider, one of the best in the majors. The two-seam fastball he throws works well with forcing ground balls. With Greinke added to the rotation, the Brewers will be a major threat in the NL Central race when he comes back. His health is vital for the Brewers’ playoff chances.


2. The Brewers Must Be More Aggressive On the Bases

One of the big issues that the Brewers have is that they can get runners on base. When they have a chance to bring those runners in, however, they often get stranded due to them not being able to get clutch hits as well as not being aggressive on base.

According to Baseball, only Ryan Braun, Lorenzo Cain and Carlos Gomez scored at least one run from base-running. The Brewers were not very aggressive on the bases at all, often looking to rely on the long ball to score runs. Home runs are not going to happen at every at-bat, so the players need to be more aggressive on the bases. Things like stealing bases and bunting will help move players into scoring position and can even help to produce more runs. If the Brewers can do that, they will definitely win more games.

3. Rickie Weeks and Casey McGehee Must Cut Down on Their Errors

Error is an ugly word in baseball. It can cost your team outs as well as games. These three were the worst on the Brewers in terms of making errors. McGehee and Weeks were two of the worst when it came to this category. Those two have got to clean up their fielding play in order for the Brewers to win games and make the playoffs this year.


4. John Axford Must Fulfill the Role of Closer

When John Axford came to the Brewers last year to replace Trevor Hoffman as the full-time closer, he had no experience at that spot in the rotation. After the 2010 season was over he had 24 saves, an 8-2 record and a 2.48 ERA. With the talent that the Brewers have this year and their ability to get men on base and score runs, he must protect the lead when it’s given to him.

Except for the game yesterday against the Reds, Axford should be a strong, solid closer.


5. Pitching ERA Must Improve

Last year, the overall ERA of the Brewers’ pitching staff was 4.58 (26th in the majors).

That kind of ERA is not going to help a team win.

While Yovani Gallardo, Chris Narveson and Randy Wolf all had winning records, the rest of the Brewers pitching staff was not so good. For example, starter Manny Parra went 3-10 with a 5.02 ERA. In many of his starts, he was not able to get past the 5th or 6th innings, many times not even getting through four innings. That has to improve if the Brewers want to get to the postseason. Starters have to be able to go at least seven innings and keep their pitch count down. Going longer will help keep the relievers fresh and will cut down on the work middle relievers will have to do.

If the Brewers can do these five things, there’s no reason why they can’t contend for a Wild Card spot, much less a division title.

Read more MLB news on