The Milwaukee Brewers offense has been struggling for most of the 2021 season. What can be done to fix it?
The obvious issue with this Brewers offense is that they’re missing Christian Yelich. He’s played just one game since April 11th because he’s dealing with a back issue. Yelich is hitting .353 with a .846 OPS on the season, and this offense could sure use someone like that in the middle of their lineup right now. He’s going on a rehab assignment and should be back soon.
Keston Hiura was also supposed to be a key part of this offense but he struggled the worst of anyone to start the year. He’s down in Triple-A to get things figured out and hopefully he can come back soon, but the Brewers are struggling in the meantime without those two.
One change that Craig Counsell can make to this Brewers lineup is to put Luis Urias and Avisail Garcia further up in the order.
Play the hot hands.
Luis Urias is hitting .250 with a .755 OPS since April 12th. Avisail Garcia, since April 30th, is hitting .421 with a 1.094 OPS. Garcia has been the Crew’s hottest hitter over the last two weeks and he needs to get more at-bats.
Ideally, the Brewers wouldn’t have to depend on Avisail Garcia in a No. 3 hitter type role, but that might be the best spot for him right now with the personnel the offense has. By putting Urias in the No. 2 spot with Kolten Wong in the leadoff spot, that gives the Brewers a couple of speedy table-setters atop the lineup to spark this offense.
Get those two on and then the hot-hitting Avisail Garcia coming up after should provide a strong recipe for success. Then Garcia can be followed by Travis Shaw, the Brewers’ RBI leader.
Daniel Vogelbach has big power, but he’s hitting .205 on the year and is more around what he has been for his career. The corner that he appeared to turn in a small sample last year has turned back to the mean. He should probably drop in the lineup to the 5th or 6th spot.
Vogelbach has just six RBIs on the season in 78 ABs. Last year, 58 ABs with the Crew, he had 12 RBIs. His low RBI total this year is not for lack of opportunity, because he’s had plenty.
In 2020, Vogelbach had 42 total baserunners on base when he was batting. Eight of them scored, good for 19.1%. In 2021, he’s had 43 runners on base for his at-bats. He’s brought home just three of them, good for 7.0%.
The Brewers should drop Vogelbach in the order, move Urias and Garcia up to the 2nd and 3rd spots and put Shaw in the cleanup role. Craig Counsell can make this lineup change immediately to try to spark some life into this struggling offense. This isn’t a long-term fix, but it’s the best option he has right now.
Long term, the Brewers need Yelich and Hiura occupying two of the spots in the middle of the order for this offense to reach it’s full potential.