Milwaukee Brewers: Is Slugging Eric Thames Back?

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 24: Eric Thames
ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 24: Eric Thames /
Eric Thames, Milwaukee Brewers
ATLANTA, GA – JUNE 24: Eric Thames /

Milwaukee Brewers slugger Eric Thames was THE story of April. He blasted 11 homers. He posted a .345/.466/.810 OPS. Eric Thames added a presence to the Brewers lineup that hasn’t been seen since Prince Fielder left. Thames wasn’t just a power hitter. He was a force of nature that helped the Brewers rack up 13 wins.

Then he missed a few games with leg injuries, general soreness, and normal rest days. He never went on the DL, but he clearly wasn’t the same. Thames followed his torrid April with a pedestrian .221/.375/.416 line in May. He absolutely cratered with a .163/.267/.402 slash line in June.

The calendar switched to July, and Eric Thames is off to another hot streak. In four games played he has three homers, five runs scored and three RBIs. Is he fully healthy? Is the human tornado of offense truly back or is this just a fluke?

Eric Thames Health

He claims he’s physically and mentally strong. In a recent interview, Thames stated that taking a few days off really helped him to focus. The time off certainly helped his ailing legs. The All-Star Break will provide him with a few more days way from the game, and allow him to recharge for the second half push. Thames appears to be completely healthy for the first time since early May.

The Results

Two of his three July homers were rated as ‘No-Doubters’ by the ESPN Home Run Tracker. He blasted a 414 ft. shot off of Dan Straily on July 1st, and clubbed a 410 ft. homer on Independence Day. The other homer on Independence Day? It only went 396 ft., but it clocked in at 111.5 MPH off the bat. That’s the hardest home run Thames has hit in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform. Based on the results, it’s safe to say that Eric Thames is back.

How long he stays back depends on his health. Jesus Aguilar will need to step in on days that Thames needs off, especially down the stretch. Protecting Thames from overexposure is going to be a key for Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell.

Next: Why Didn't Brewers Prospect Lewis Brinson Succeed?

The Milwaukee Brewers absolutely need a healthy Eric Thames hitting near the top of the lineup. He hits baseballs really far and he gets on base. He leads the team in slugging with a .566 mark, and his .375 OBP is second only to Eric Sogard. Thames must maintain his health and stay in the lineup if the Brewers are going to continue to push towards the playoffs.