By Jim Owczarski Sports Editor Published Mar 31, 2014 at 6:06 AM Photography: David Bernacchi

The Milwaukee Brewers made some changes to the team following a disappointing 2013 season, leading to a sense of optimism heading into 2014.

Meet and interact with the team here:


Ryan Braun, right field
Did you know? In 2012, The Sporting News named him the seventh "greatest" player in the game.
Stat: Only hit two home runs between May 1 and July 21

Carlos Gomez, center field
Did you know? Wasn't born yet the last time a Brewers player won a Gold Glove, a feat he accomplished last year.
Stat: Led the National League in Wins Above Replacement with 8.4.
Twitter: @C_Gomez27

Khris Davis, left field
Did you know? Journals about his life daily.
Stat: Hit 5 of his 11 homers in 2013 hitting sixth in the lineup.


Aramis Ramirez, third base
Did you know? He made his major league debut in 1998 as a teenager.
Stat: Is a career .277 first half hitter and hits .295 in the second half.

Jean Segura, shortstop
Did you know? This was the first winter he didn't play baseball in at least three years.
Stat: Finished in the top 5 in 13 different statistical categories in 2013.
Twitter: @jeansegura9

Rickie Weeks, second base
Did you know? He got married over the winter.
Stat: Is eighth among active players and 49th all-time with 117 hit by pitches.

Lyle Overbay, first base
Did you know? He was signed to his first pro contract in 1999.
Stat: Has hit .241 with a .719 OPS over the last four seasons (1,665 plate appearances).

Jonathan Lucroy, catcher
Did you know? He loves coffee.
Stat: After June 1, he hit .292 with 13 HR and 58 RBI.
Twitter: @JLucroy20

Starting rotation

Kyle Lohse
Did you know? Attended Butte Community College, the same junior college as Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Stat: From June 4 through Sept. 25, he went 10-4 with a 2.91 ERA.

Matt Garza
Did you know? Was the 2008 American League Championship Series MVP for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Stat: Begins the year with a career 67-67 record.
Twitter: @Gdeuceswild

Yovani Gallardo
Did you know? He struck out four batters in an inning against Cincinnati in 2011.
Stat: Has made at least 30 starts for the last five seasons.

Wily Peralta
Did you know? First began throwing as a child by using a lemon in games of catch.
Stat: Allowed three earned runs or least in eight of his final nine starts of 2013.

Marco Estrada
Did you know? There is another Marco Estrada, a soccer player of no relation, who was born just over a month before the Brewers pitcher.
Stat: Had a 2.15 ERA in nine second half starts in 2013.


Francisco Rodriguez
Did you know? He holds the single-season record for saves in a season with 62 in 2008.
Stat: Hasn't saved more than 30 games since 2009.

Jim Henderson
Did you know? He was drafted by the Montreal Expos.
Stat: Right-handers hit just .165 off of him.
Twitter: @JimHenderson29

Brandon Kintzler
Did you know? Was out of affiliated baseball for over three years from 2006 through the start of 2009.
Stat: Posted a career-best 2.69 ERA in 71 games in 2013.

Tom Gorzelanny
Did you know? The Chicago native was once drafted by the White Sox and eventually played for the Cubs. (He will begin the year on the disabled list)
Stat: Struck out 8.8 batters per nine innings in 2013, his highest rate since 2009.
Twitter: @TGorz

Will Smith
Did you know? Threw a combined no-hitter in 2011 in the Kansas City organization.
Stat: Has a 5.48 ERA in 17 starts and a 2.45 ERA in 18 relief appearances.
Twitter: @White_Willy31

Wei-Chung Wang
Did you know? If he didn't make the Opening Day roster, and if he doesn't stay with the team the entire, the Brewers have to offer him back to Pittsburgh for $25,000 as part of Rule 5 Draft provisions.
Stat: Posted a 3.23 ERA in Rookie ball with the Pittsburgh organization last year.

Zach Duke
Did you know? Was an All-Star in 2009 with Pittsburgh.
Stat: Hasn't thrown at least 80 major league innings in a year since 2010.
Twitter: @Zach_Duke

Tyler Thornburg
Did you know? Stroked a double in his first major league at-bat.
Stat: In 11 appearances as a reliever in 2013, he posted a 3.04 ERA in 23 2/3 innings.
Twitter: @TylerThornburg

Key reserves

Scooter Gennett, second base
Did you know? His real name is Ryan.
Stat: Hit .353 over his last 50 games of 2013.

Mark Reynolds, first base/third base
Did you know? Won the Arizona Diamondbacks' "Good Guy Award" in 2010.
Stat: Has struck out in 32 percent of his career plate appearances.

Logan Schafer, outfield
Did you know? He changed jersey numbers in the middle of Brewers On Deck when Garza signed. He now wears No. 1.
Stat: Is a career .987 fielder.

Jeff Bianchi, infield
Did you know? This is his first Opening Day roster.
Stat: Has hit .241 in 68 road games and just .206 over 65 games at Miller Park.

Martin Maldonado, catcher
Did you know? Is another product of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim farm system in the Brewers organization, like Segura, Rodriguez and minor leaguer Johnny Hellweg.
Stat: Hit nearly .100 points lower in 2013 (.169) than he did in 2012 (.266).
Twitter: @Machete1224

Jim Owczarski is an award-winning sports journalist and comes to Milwaukee by way of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Network.

A three-year Wisconsin resident who has considered Milwaukee a second home for the better part of seven years, he brings to the market experience covering nearly all major and college sports.

To this point in his career, he has been awarded six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news and projects. He is also a four-time nominee for the prestigious Peter J. Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, presented by the Chicago Headline Club, and is a two-time winner for Best Sports Story. He has also won numerous other Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards.

Jim's career started in earnest as a North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) senior in 2002 when he received a Richter Fellowship to cover the Chicago White Sox in spring training. He was hired by the Naperville Sun in 2003 and moved on to the Aurora Beacon News in 2007 before joining

In that time, he has covered the events, news and personalities that make up the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, NCAA football, baseball and men's and women's basketball as well as boxing, mixed martial arts and various U.S. Olympic teams.

Golf aficionados who venture into Illinois have also read Jim in GOLF Chicago Magazine as well as the Chicago District Golfer and Illinois Golfer magazines.