Check the lineup on Opening Day at Miller Park. Then check Sunday's lineup. Keeping up with the names of the players this year has been a challenge. One night at the ballpark, someone asked me who was starting at first base. I had no idea.
Obviously, this has been a difficult season on many fronts, starting with Corey Hart's spate of injuries. Even though the won-loss column is tilted the wrong way, there's plenty of good news this year, starting with the Brewers' rookies and new acquisitions.
All through the summer, the young players have been truly impressive. As they slugged, fielded and stormed their way onto the roster, we've seen good baseball. Even though the Brewers weren't always winning games, they've shown us signs of things to come.
Like the chorus girl who gets the solo when the soprano's voice fails, the new guys have made the most of their opportunities to shine.
The first one to impress was Jean Segura, who was acquired in the Zack Greinke trade in 2012. Segura's grace and brilliance on both sides of the ball have been really exciting. Through Sunday, he's batting .301 with 46 RBIs and 12 home runs.
The first day Scooter Gennett came up from the Minors, he hustled out to shortstop like a kid who couldn't believe he was finally in the big leagues. And what a contribution he's made: Through Sunday, his on-base percentage is .368 and his slugging percentage is .535. He even leads the team with a .331 batting average.
Khris Davis (who was drafted by the Brewers in 2009, the same year as Gennett) plays left field as if he's been playing in the Majors for years, rather than weeks. Besides that, his batting average is .279.
With plenty of playing time for the rookies, fewer injuries and the talents of Jonathan Lucroy, Norichika Aoki and Carlos Gomez, next year promises to be exciting.
Yeah, I know. We get tired of hearing that we must wait until next year, but that's the way an optimist looks at her favorite team.
Anne Stratton is a contributor to MLB.com.