The Milwaukee Brewers have struggled lately and have had an up and down season, but there are reasons to remain optimistic.
Reason #1 – Potent Offense
The Milwaukee Brewers offense has been relatively quiet lately, but it is still an extremely potent lineup. The Brewers have several power hitters and currently lead the National League in home runs. Most of their power hitters are left handed and Miller Park is extremely friendly to left handed hitters.
In addition to their power the team has also showed that they have speed on the base paths by being second in the National league in stolen bases. Lorenzo Cain, Travis Shaw, and Jesus Aguilar have had disappointing seasons but based on their career statistics their numbers should improve throughout the remainder of the year.
The Milwaukee Brewers bench players can also provide offense. Hernan Perez and Ben Gamel have both shown that they can hit the ball when given the opportunity. When you look at the Brewers lineup one through eight, or one through nine when Brandon Woodruff is pitching, there is not an easy out in the lineup.
Reason Two – Dominant back end of bullpen
The Milwaukee Brewers have one loss after leading a game after the sixth inning and they don’t have a single loss after leading a game after the eighth inning. Josh Hader is almost Mr. Automatic and has only one blown save on the season.
Jeremy Jeffress has come back from an early season injury and has only allowed two earned runs in his last 10 games. It took him several games to get his velocity back, but its back now and that should mean good things for him throughout the remainder of the season. Adrian Houser, who might be the most under-rated pitcher this season, has also pitched very well at the end of games and has only allowed one earned run in his last five relief appearances.
Reason Three – Still experimenting with pitching staff
The pitching staff has yet to find its identity and the team is still experimenting with its rotation and bullpen. The Milwaukee Brewers experiment to start three rookie pitchers did not go very well so they had to go out and re-sign Gio Gonzalez. Jimmy Nelson returned to the rotation after having not pitched in a game in 21 months.
Gonzalez and Jhoulys Chacin both got hurt, which meant the Brewers needed temporary alternatives. Now that Chacin is back and Gonzalez should be back soon, the rotation should stabilize.
Outiside of Hader, nobody has claimed clear roles in the bullpen. Last year the Brewers seemed to have clear roles for each pitcher in the bullpen, but that has yet to happen so far this season. Jeffress was hurt to start the year and it has taken him several outings to get going again. Houser was used as spot starter to begin the season but has pitched very well out the bullpen. Alex Claudio has struggled against right-handed hitters and may have found a role as a lefty specialist.
Reason Four – More games off in August
August is a tough month for teams because the rigors of a long season and warmer weather can start to take a toll on the team. Fortunately for the Milwaukee Brewers, they will have four consecutive Thursdays off in August. The Chicago Cubs on the other hand only have three days off the entire month of August.
Even though the season has had some ups and downs, Milwaukee Brewers fans should remain optimistic as we head into July.