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1. Is the starting rotation deep enough?
The pending Braden Looper deal might help change the answer to this question to the affirmative. Without Looper, the Brewers had five viable starters but no experienced depth except for Chris Capuano, who probably won't be ready until May because of his left elbow rehab. With Looper, the Brewers could shift Seth McClung to some sort of relief role, but still have him ready to step into the starting rotation if needed. Looper also gives the Brewers some much-needed depth against Spring Training injuries.

 

 

2. Who will be at third base?
New skipper, Ken Macha, says that Bill Hall is the favorite to start at thrid base entering camp. But will Macha decide to keep Hall with the left-handed-hitting Mike Lamb? Could prospect Mat Gamel, who, like Lamb, bats left-handed. Can Mat Gamel play well enough in Spring Training to warrant consideration? And does righty hitter Casey McGehee, who drove in 92 runs last season for the Cubs' Triple-A affiliate, have a shot to win playing time with a good performance in spring?

 

 

3. Is this finally the year for 2003 Draft picks?
Both of the Brewers' top two picks in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft have been slow to meet expectations. GM Doug Melvin is quick to point out first-rounder Rickie Weeks' positives, but until Weeks improves on his batting average (.234 last season), strikeouts (115 in 475 at-bats), and his defense (15 errors, the most among National League second basemen), he will continue to be the target of fan complaints. Second-rounder Tony Gwynn Jr, meanwhile, is out of Minor League options. The Brewers have been very slow to offer Gwynn much opportunity, but if he doesn't win a backup outfield spot this spring, his future with the team is in doubt.

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