Brewers: Potential Starting Lineups With The DH Coming To The NL

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 01: Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers at bat against the Washington Nationals during the National League Wild Card game at Nationals Park on October 1, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 01: Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers at bat against the Washington Nationals during the National League Wild Card game at Nationals Park on October 1, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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It’s official, the Designated Hitter is coming to the National League. What does this mean for the Brewers lineup construction?

Coming into the 2020 season, the Milwaukee Brewers had a plethora of position players but only eight spots to fill in the lineup. The depth that GM David Stearns has built up for this roster is going to pay off in a big way.

Yes, the designated hitter has finally reached the National League. For some, it’s long overdue. For others, it’s their worst nightmare. Whatever your personal feelings on it, this rule change is going to have a positive impact on the Brewers offense.

Who Will Be The DH?

With Craig Counsell as manager, there’s likely to be some creative uses for the DH that the Brewers will utilize this year. There’s going to be a variety of players that fill that spot in the lineup throughout the 60 game season, but the player who’s going to be penciled in there the most is likely to be Ryan Braun.

Braun was going to be in a platoon at both first base and right field this year. After the additions of Avisail Garcia and Justin Smoak this offseason, Braun’s available at-bats were going to be severely cut down. Now, that doesn’t necessarily have to happen.

The Brewers also have numerous other candidates for the job, including Keston Hiura, whose defense is below-average at second base. Veteran utility options Brock Holt, Jedd Gyorko, and Eric Sogard could also get some at-bats as the DH this year.

What Will The Brewers Lineup Look Like?

Now that baseball is coming up soon, we can take a closer look at how Craig Counsell might construct the lineup. Here’s one possibility:

  1. Lorenzo Cain, CF
  2. Christian Yelich, LF
  3. Ryan Braun, DH
  4. Keston Hiura, 2B
  5. Justin Smoak, 1B
  6. Avisail Garcia, RF
  7. Brock Holt/Eric Sogard/Jedd Gyorko, 3B
  8. Omar Narvaez, C
  9. Orlando Arcia, SS

Cain and Yelich continue to provide the 1-2 punch atop the lineup and they’re protected by Ryan Braun in his customary No. 3 spot in the order and Keston Hiura in the cleanup spot.

Smoak seems like a good bet to be in the No. 5 hole followed by Garcia. The final three spots could go in any order of that group.

Here’s another possible lineup:

  1. Luis Urias, SS
  2. Yelich, LF
  3. Hiura, 2B
  4. Smoak, 1B
  5. Braun, DH
  6. Cain, CF
  7. Garcia, RF
  8. Narvaez, C
  9. Holt/Sogard/Gyorko, 3B

If Urias can earn the starting shortstop job, his hitting ability should be strong enough to put him at the top of the order. It might take some time for him to prove it, but he can replace Cain in that spot as he drops down in this lineup projection.

Also dropping down is Braun, going to the 5th spot as Hiura and Smoak each move up a spot. Yelich and Hiura back-to-back in the order is a deadly duo.

Knowing Craig Counsell, he’s going to put up a wide variety of lineup combinations as he uses matchups to his advantage. It’s so exciting to finally have some actual baseball strategy and game related things to talk about. Baseball is back, let’s get it.

Next. How Did Brewers Look Through 60 Games Last Year?. dark

The Brewers are well prepared for the addition of the DH this year and it helps clear a little bit of the position player logjam while not taking anything away from their depth.

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