Since Kolten Wong went on the IL with a calf strain, Christian Yelich has been the one leading off games. This also includes against left-handed pitchers, in which Andrew McCutchen previously was the leadoff hitter in those matchups. So far, the early results show that he is having success as the team’s leadoff hitter.
The sample size is currently limited to just five games, but during this stretch Yelich has collected at least one hit in every contest. In three of the five games he has collected multiple hits and overall he has nine hits. His lone extra base hit was a leadoff home run against left-handed pitcher Patrick Corbin on Saturday.
In addition to racking up the hits, over the last four games he has scored at least one run. Since the batting order changed, he also has stolen two bases. Yelich possesses great speed and his ability to swipe bases and run the basepaths should not go unnoticed.
What is the long term plan going forward?
At this time, no comments have been made about how long Yelich will remain as the leadoff hitter. Yelich does have a lot of qualities that one typically wants in being the first batter of the game. He typically is a patient hitter, sees a lot of pitches, and has great speed. It wouldn’t be surprising to continue to see him serve as the leadoff hitter after Kolten Wong returns from the IL.
Ideally, this change will help get Yelich going at the plate. It seems unlikely that he will put up numbers similar to the 2018 and 2019 seasons, but if he can hit for a higher average and contribute in key situations he could help provide some consistency in the Brewers lineup.
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