The Milwaukee Brewers have had some kind of rotten luck maintaining a permanent fixture at first base. Since Prince Fielder left, Milwaukee has trotted out a different starting first baseman in every single season. This year, Rowdy Tellez has emerged as a long-term potential answer at the position. He his currently hitting .258/.314/.567 with seven home runs and a league-leading 26 RBI. Recently, he was named the NL Player of the Week. Despite this, the Milwaukee Brewers are trying out two new players at first base during practice.
Hunter Renfroe and Mike Brosseau were on the field early, getting action at 1B. With Keston Hiura in Nashville, both are options there when the Brewers see left-handed pitching and want to give Rowdy Tellez a day off.
— Will Sammon (@WillSammon) May 10, 2022
Both Hunter Renfroe and Mike Brosseau are right-handed hitters. However, there are a few factors in this decision that just do not make sense.
Rowdy Tellez Is Better Against Left-Handed Pitching
Typically, left-handed hitters like Rowdy Tellez hit right handed pitching better than left-handed pitching. However, Rowdy is a big outlier. In his career, Tellez is hitting .244/.307/.485 against righties. Against lefties, he is hitting .259/.312/.439. This season has been a bit different, though. Tellez is hitting .211/.286/.421 against lefties. He is hitting .269/.321/.603 against righties.
That being said, the season is young and he is getting far more at bats against righties than lefties. There’s also this interesting factoid: Hunter Renfroe is not much better in his career against lefties than Rowdy. In his career, Renfroe is hitting .263/.345/.569 against lefties. Yes, the on-base percentage and slugging percentage is better, but the amount of balls put in play is roughly the same.
The Transition to First Base
Rowdy Tellez has played 183 career games. Hunter Renfroe and Mike Brosseau have combined for a grand total of 26. Renfroe appeared in one game at first base earlier this season. Prior to that, he appeared at first base in two games in 2020. Mike Brosseau has not played first base this season, but played the position in 10 games last year. In 2020, he played 12 games at first base. His first appearance at first was back in 2019.
The point is this: first base is a difficult position to learn. Ryan Braun could not make the transition, and Keston Hiura is playing the outfield now in Triple-A. Rowdy Tellez is really the only true first baseman on the roster. He should get all the playing time he wants.
For More Great Wisconsin Sports Content
Follow me on Twitter at @theotherRobin19 and follow us @WiSportsHeroics for more great content. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here! Also, check out our merch store for some amazing WSH merchandise!