Milwaukee Brewers: How has Christian Yelich’s return affected the lineup?

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 22: Christian Yelich
MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 22: Christian Yelich /

Christian Yelich missed twelve games with an oblique injury. He has played in the past five games for the Milwaukee Brewers, including four against his former team. With Yelich back in the lineup, the Crew is a better team.

Christian Yelich returned to the Milwaukee Brewers after a twelve-game hiatus due to an oblique injury. The Crew started off 4-2 with him in the lineup. In the games he missed, the Brewers went 5-7.

Since his return, the Milwaukee Brewers have won all six games. No, it isn’t just because he is back. But, his presence in the lineup makes the Crew a better team.

The Statistics

Yelich has now played in 12 games for the Milwaukee Brewers. According to his Fangraphs statistics, his numbers so far on the season speak for themselves.

He boasts a line of .319/.407/.532. It’s a small sample size with only 47 at bats, but it shows that he is capable of being a difference maker. He also does not strike out a lot. That’s great for the Milwaukee Brewers, especially because he seems to have cemented his place in the two-hole.

And again, keep in mind the small sample size, but his wRC+ after Tuesday night’s game at Kauffman Stadium sat at 155 by Fangraphs calculations. The league average, as explained by this post, normally is around 100. Yelich’s number is currently just under the “excellent” category, which begins at 160.

Why is he so valuable?

His box scores for the past six games have not looked stellar, but that is understandable. Coming off an oblique injury, it’s likely that your swing may need some adjustments. He did knock one out of the park against the Marlins during this span, which was pretty cool.

When you look at the big picture, though, it’s all about the team. Individually, yes, he is a great player. With him back in the lineup, Eric Thames can return to a lineup spot where his power will be even more valuable.

Next: Concern about Eric Thames' thumb?

Plus, you can’t argue with the fact that the Milwaukee Brewers are 10-2 with him in the lineup, versus the 5-7 they were with Christian Yelich on the DL.