The Milwaukee Brewers have officially played one full week of spring training games and there has been plenty to get excited about. Since commencing Cactus League play on March 18th with the Dodgers, the headlines and highlights have been flowing out of Maryvale. While there certainly is a lot to cover from week one, let’s take a look at three major takeaways from the Crews start.
Pitching Continues as a Strength
One thing Brewers fans were not too worried about over the course of the off-season was adding to our pitching staff. With Burnes, Woodruff and Peralta being one of the best three-headed-monsters in the league, the Brewers felt pretty strong in that department. During the first week of Spring Training, that has proven itself again. The Brewers rank seventh in the MLB with 87 strikeouts through the first 79 innings of play. They are finding ways to miss bats and they’re doing it with some rather filthy “stuff”.
Leading the way is Adrian Houser who has retired seven men via the strikeout through six innings of work. Closely following is Josh Hader who has retired six batters this spring and all via the strikeout. The surprising power pitching, however, has come from the likes of Trevor Gott and Holby Milner. Both have averaged over a strikeout per inning in their first couple appearances. Along with these arms is a familiar name in Freddy Peralta, who looks to have not missed a beat this off-season. There will be a lot of names for Brewers fans to become familiar with as there figures to be a vast amount of contributors on the hill for them this year.
Josh Hader, Obliterating the Side. pic.twitter.com/XU2FBZS0pH
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 24, 2022
Hiura and Taylor Making Their Case
Keston Hiura and Tyrone Taylor have had up and down careers up to this point. For Hiura, 2022 looks to be his last shot at making himself a regular player for the Brewers. During the off-season, fans were constantly hearing about Hiura’s leg kick. Well, through the first week of games, it looks as if that work to reduce his leg kick may be paying off. Through Hiura’s first 13 at-bats, he has registered six hits including three home runs and eight RBI’s. Hiura has not only found his power again, but he has been able to make contact with pitches on the outside edge of the zone, which has been his weak point in the past. Hiura has been seeing the ball better and putting great swings on pitches.
Right alongside Hiura is Tyrone Taylor. The 28 year-old has been on the outside looking in for the Brewers outfield rotation for the last two years. With the addition of McCutchen, Taylor again looks to be the fourth outfield option. Despite this, Taylor is making his case to be an everyday piece in the Brewers lineup. Through his first 13 at-bats, Taylor has also registered three home runs with seven RBI. Taylor has a lot of Brewers fans rooting for him, and the first week of Cactus League play has shown why.
Keston Hiura's red-hot spring continued today with his third Cactus League homer!@KestDaddy | #ThisIsMyCrew pic.twitter.com/6PsuMrQbUf
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) March 26, 2022
Power, Power and More Power
While it is just one week of games, the Brewers offense has been clicking. The Brewers are sixth in the MLB in runs scored through eight games with 57. A majority of these runs have been coming via the long ball. With 17 home runs, the Brewers rank sixth in the MLB. Leading the way has been the above mentioned Hiura and Taylor with three each. Following them is Andrew McCutchen. Cutch showed off the power he will be bringing to American Family Field this year by hitting two home runs in yesterday’s game. Following these three, there is a swath of players who have all put a ball over the fence. Highlighting that group is Kolten Wong, Willy Adames and Michael Brosseau.
Andrew McCutchen is one of those players you hope can just play forever pic.twitter.com/hdBDnHsTMj
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) March 26, 2022
It hasn’t just been the big fly that has been helping out the Brewers offense so far. Brewers’ hitters have been patient at the plate and drawn 37 walks which is good enough for sixth in the majors. The walks have been a welcome sight for a team that often looked boom or bust last year.
While it may only be eight games in Spring Training, fans can be very excited by what they are seeing out of their home-town Crew. With less than two weeks of Spring Training games before Opening Day, the Brewers appear to be in a good position.
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