The Brewers’ offense has seen its share of dry spells this season. Turnarounds by these three players could fix that problem.
The Brewers won big on Sunday, 9-3 over the Reds, to bring their record to 6-7 on the season. It was Milwaukee’s highest scoring output of the season to date and the type of offensive explosion the team hasn’t regularly been accustomed to in 2020.
Prior to Sunday’s outburst, the Brewer offense had only scored an average of 3.6 runs per game, putting less than three runs on the board in 7 of their 12 games. Looking at the stat lines of a number of the position players this season, you can see exactly why.
The struggles of former MVP Christian Yelich have been well-documented at this point and it’s hard to win when your best player is still trying to find his way at the plate. But with hits in four of his last six games, he may be starting to turn things around.
It will take more than one player starting to hit well for the Brewer offense to start living up to fans’ expectations, though. Here are three other players who could really jumpstart the offense if they can follow Yelich’s lead and kick their seasons into gear.
1B Justin Smoak
Smoak showed signs of life in Sunday’s win over the Reds, going 3 for 5 with two singles and a double and driving in two. The Brewers will need more of that in the future, though, because the .128 batting average, .417 OPS, and 19 strikeouts in 11 games aren’t going to cut it.
The answer to Smoak’s problems could just boil down to having a better eye at the plate. His 44.2% strikeout percentage and 2.3% walk percentage are each in the bottom six percent of the league and far off his career averages. Should those adjust closer to his career averages of 24.8% and 12.5%, respectively, better results could follow elsewhere on the stat line.
C Omar Narvaez
Narvaez was advertised as an offense-first catcher who should at least be a capable replacement for the now former Brewers catcher Yasmani Grandal. So it makes it all the more disappointing to see his .179 batting average and .214 slugging percentage that is currently the second worst on the team for anyone currently on the active roster.
One bright spot for Narvaez is his .343 on base percentage that ranks third among those on the active roster. But the lefty catcher was expected to bring firepower with him to Milwaukee, so a single extra base hit (a double) and one run driven in through 11 games is probably not what everyone had in mind.
OF Avisail Garcia
Garcia dropped down closer to the Mendoza line with an 0 for 5 performance on Sunday, giving him a .205 average on the season. His .326 on base percentage is respectable, and his six runs scored are second best on the team, but his .608 OPS leaves much to be desired.
There will be plenty of playing time available for Garcia now that Lorenzo Cain has opted out of the 2020 season. He doesn’t need to produce the exact same type of stats that Cain would – the two are different types of players, after all – but they will need to be better than he’s put up so far to justify all the playing time he is about to receive.
The offense will need to pick it up if the Brewers expect to have the level of success that they are expecting this year. If these three players turn things around, expect the increase in runs to follow.