The Brewers have about a month left to clinch a postseason spot and are right in the race. They sit seven and a half games behind the Cardinals for the NL Central lead and two games back of the Phillies and Padres for a wild card spot. With time running low Craig Counsell may need to make a change to the batting order. Willy Adames has found himself batting second in the order all year, but it may be time for a change.
Why Move Adames?
Willy Adames is without a doubt one of the most powerful hitters in the Brewers lineup, and he generally does not miss games. Adames has not been bad by any means, but his production does not currently justify him batting second. He is slashing .227/.286/.474. Adames has hit 26 home runs this year along with 77 RBIs. Adames clearly has the ability to drive in runs and is actually better with RISP. This is a key reason he’s remained in the second position. Ever since Yelich started hitting lead-off, Adames has had more opportunities with men on base. However, the Brewers’ offense needs to find ways to score outside of the home run ball. Adames leads the team in strikeouts and has grounded into nine double plays. The Brewers might be better suited to have a hitter with a higher OBP behind Yelich who is getting on base at a .358 clip.
Who Would Bat Second?
The Brewers ideally want a player who can drive in runs and strikes out at a low rate behind Yelich. With Adames, the ability to drive in runs early in games has been boom or bust. Kolten Wong would be a good candidate to take his spot in the two-hole. Wong is hitting .249 with the second-best OBP on the team at .335. Wong has been on a tear recently and would make a nice replacement. He was the Brewers’ primary leadoff hitter before Yelich took over the role, so he is no stranger to hitting early against pitchers.
Where Would Adames Hit?
Craig Counsell has already made a big change to the order this year by moving Yelich to the leadoff role. That move ended up working great for the Brew Crew. Moving Adames might have the same effect and his average may start to climb. If Wong were to hit second, and assuming Tellez sticks at three, Adames could find himself batting clean-up or fifth. A move like this could really bolster the offense. The first six in the batting order could be:
The last three spots in the order for Counsell would be filled by Caratini/Narvaez, Urías/Peterson/Brosseau and Ruiz/Taylor/Mitchell.
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