The Brewers Need Christian Yelich To Get It Going, And Soon
By David Gasper
Christian Yelich is in an offensive slump to start the 2020 season. The Brewers desperately need him to find his groove soon.
It’s no secret that the Brewers offense has struggled in the early parts of the 2020 season. It’s also no secret that this entire lineup revolves around Christian Yelich. When he’s on, the rest of the offense is on, when he’s off, the rest of the offense is off.
Of course, we must also acknowledge that not playing those three games last weekend against the Cardinals because Yadier Molina and other Cardinals players tested positive for Covid-19 put these hitters on ice for a few days and made it even more difficult for them to find a groove.
Still, it’s been slow going for the Brewers offense so far. It’s not just Yelich that’s had a slow start either, but everything revolves around Yelich.
Christian Yelich Doesn’t Look Like Himself
The Christian Yelich that we’ve seen over the last two seasons looks nothing like what we’ve seen in 2020. The previous Yelich would demolish anything in the zone, hit it hard, and be in control at the plate. The 2020 version of Yelich appears to be guessing, and guessing wrong often. He’s hitting weak ground balls when he makes contact at all, and has been increasingly pull-happy.
It’s still very early and Yelich has only played in eight games to this point, and an eight game slump is not something to be overly concerned about in and of itself. Yelich has proven himself to be too good of a hitter over the years for this slump to be something that will last extremely long.
However, the longer it lasts, the more difficult it will be on the Brewers to make the playoffs for a third straight season.
The Brewers are 3-5 at the moment and are 4.5 games back of the Cubs, who have gotten off to a blistering 9-2 start. Everyone knew coming into this season that a hot start would be crucial to getting on top in the division and staying on top through the 60 game season. The Cubs have done so, while the Brewers have not.
In the equivalent of a 162 game season, the Brewers are at the 21 game mark. We’re rapidly approaching the “one month mark” of the season and the offense has not gotten it going.
If this team slump lasts another week or two, the hole the Brewers will have dug themselves will likely be too much to overcome. Even with expanded playoffs, it will be tough to make the field in October.
The White Sox intentionally walked Keston Hiura to load the bases to get to Christian Yelich the other day. That’s how unafraid teams are of Yelich and the Brewers offense at the moment. When Yelich is himself, that never happens, or at the very least, it never works out for the opposing team. This time? Yelich struck out looking on a pitch he normally crushes 450 feet.
The Brewers offense needs Yelich to get it going at the plate as soon as possible. The sooner he gets into a groove, the sooner the Brewers start winning. It’s as simple as that.
Yelich is doing everything he can, but it’s important that he doesn’t start to press himself at the plate, because that’s when a week-long slump turns into a season-long slump. He’s going to be fine. But the sooner he gets to being fine, the better.
Christian Yelich is under a little more pressure as the veteran leader as well after the opt out of Lorenzo Cain and the IL stint of Ryan Braun.