The Milwaukee Brewers got off to a white-hot start this season. They had one of the best records and run differentials in baseball while every part of the team was operating at a high level. I say “was” because things have slowed down considerably since the calendar flipped to May. Since April 30, the Milwaukee Brewers have gone 2-8 with both the starting rotation and offense struggling.
As ugly as this stretch has been, ups and downs are a part of the baseball season. Over the course of 162 games, even the best teams have stretches where they play bad ball. In this article, I’ll assign a panic meter level on how various players have performed so far this season. The scale will be out of 5, with 1 being the least panicked and 5 being the most.
Jesse Winker (OF)
Seeing the stats Jesse Winker has accrued so far this season is disappointing for a player that historically raked at American Family Field. He doesn’t have a home run yet and has only three extra-base hits total for the Brewers. He’s also already had a bout with a minor injury which is less than ideal for a player that has struggled to stay healthy.
With all of that said, I’m not overly worried quite yet. He’s getting on base at a 35.6% clip and had a solid start to the season before the injury. The home runs will come from a player with his power, bringing an uptick in the counting stats. I expected a big year from Winker and still think he has plenty of time to pick it up.
Panic Meter: 1
Brice Turang (2B & SS)
It feels odd even having Brice Turang on the list, but he’s been struggling in a big way after starting the Brewers season with a bang. The rookie is striking out a ton and hasn’t been able to impact the game on the base paths due to not being able to get on base. Although not many expected big power numbers from him, at least not early on in his career, there were expectations that he’d be able to get on base at a decent clip.
Even with his struggles, I’m not going to panic about the struggles of Turang. He wasn’t expected to be a huge contributor this season and wasn’t ever projected as an impact bat at the major league level. Although I think he can turn into a solid hitter, he is still a rookie and has plenty of time to figure it out. The return of Luis Urias will take some pressure off as well.
Panic Meter: 2
Joey Wiemer (OF)
Much like Brice Turang, rookie Joey Wiemer has found himself on the struggle bus. To his credit, he has played solid defense. Unfortunately, the Brewers have needed his bat with injuries in the outfield. He’s hitting a lowly .211 with an on-base percentage of .283.
As ugly as those numbers are, we must keep in mind that Wiemer is a rookie and was arguably the least polished hitter of the young players we could see this season. His impressive spring training earned him on the Opening Day roster, but no one would have been surprised had he started the year in AAA. Injuries to Garrett Mitchell, Tyrone Taylor, and top prospect Sal Frelick have forced the hand of the Milwaukee Brewers’ hand. He has shown enough positive signs where a little more seasoning could have him in a great spot.
Panic Meter: 1
Christian Yelich (OF)
Adding Christian Yelich here sounds like a cop-out, but given his stats, it was unavoidable. The Milwaukee Brewers’ leadoff hitter hasn’t been great this season. The offense as a whole hasn’t been great, but an on-base percentage of .323 isn’t ideal for the lineup’s table-setter.
At this point, we know what to expect from Christian Yelich. It doesn’t look like he’ll ever put up numbers close to his MVP season, and he strikes out too much to be a true lead-off hitter. It’s nice that he leads the team in stolen bases and runs, but this lineup needs the MVP Yelich to be consistently dangerous.
Panic Meter: 4
Corbin Burnes (OF)
It feels wrong to have Corbin Burnes on here, but it seems fair, given the expectation levels he’s earned. A 3.86 ERA is by no means bad, but it’s subpar for the ace of the Milwaukee Brewers. Burnes hasn’t had an ERA for the season over 3.0 since 2019. Ever since then, he’s been one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball.
Although his ERA has come down a bit after a rough two starts, his lack of strikeouts and higher-than-expected walk totals are concerning. He’s been a strikeout machine over the last three seasons but currently has his lowest strikeouts per nine-innings mark of his career.
These numbers are concerning, but Burnes has earned the right to ask for patience. His track record speaks for itself, and even while being off, he’s still a very impactful pitcher. The Brewers need him to return to his dominant ways as the offense continues to struggle.
Panic Meter: 2
The Milwaukee Brewers have had an off start to the season, including great and ugly baseball stretches. I don’t want the great start of the season to be overlooked because of an ugly 10-game stretch. As unfortunate as this slump has been, I think it’s too early to write this team off or give up on struggling players. Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint.
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