Injuries are an unfortunate part of every MLB team’s season no matter how much players and fans would like to avoid it. For a while in the early part of the 2022 season, the Milwaukee Brewers were largely lucky enough to avoid the injury bug.
Then the injuries finally started to hit. Relievers Jake Cousins and Jandel Gustave, shortstop Willy Adames, and starter Freddy Peralta, who will reportedly miss a “significant” amount of time, are all now on the injured list, not to mention outfielder Andrew McCutchen and catcher Victor Caratini, who have already hit the IL and come back.
Two days ago, another Brewers player got bit by the injury bug. Outfielder Hunter Renfroe had to be pulled from Monday’s game after hurting himself sliding into home to score in the second inning. Today, he, too, was placed on the IL with a hamstring strain.
The loss of Renfroe is a big blow to Milwaukee’s offense. In his last 11 games, the Crew’s starting right fielder was batting .395 with a 1.103 OPS that included two doubles, three homers, eight runs scored, and eight runs batted in.
With every loss comes an opportunity, though, and with Renfroe on the shelf, it means more playing time for backup outfielder Tyrone Taylor.
Taylor had started the 2022 season off slowly. As of May 17th, the 28-year-old was batting just .203 with a .588 OPS. He had five hits in three games after that, however, which led up to the day of Renfroe’s injury.
The recent series win featured increased playing time for Tyrone Taylor, a move that paid off for him as well as the Brewers.
Taylor was already in the lineup playing center field the day Renfroe left due to his injured hamstring. That game, Taylor extended his mini-hot streak by going 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, and two RBIs in what ended up being an extra-inning loss for the Brewers against the San Diego Padres.
Yesterday, Taylor was again in the lineup, this time occupying Renfroe’s regular right field spot. All he did with that playing time was hit a 373-foot home run to left that broke a 1-1 tie and led to an eventual 4-1 win for the Crew.
Then today, Taylor nearly gave Brewers fans deja vu. With the game again tied 1-1, he once again sent a deep drive to left field. This one fell short of the wall, but it still ended up driving in a run as a sacrifice fly. It also again proved to be the winning run as the Brewers went on to win the game 2-1, taking the first series of their 11-game road trip.
This is the fourth regular season that Taylor has seen with the Milwaukee Brewers. And though he has shown flashes of his potential at times in the past, he hasn’t done it consistently enough to earn regular playing time for the team.
Now with Renfroe on the IL, Taylor will likely play nearly every day. If he impresses for a majority of that time, it’s possible that it translates to more consistent playing time even when Renfroe returns, especially if center fielder Lorenzo Cain continues to struggle offensively (.186 average, .469 OPS).
Want your voice heard? Join the Reviewing The Brew team!
It was good to see the Brewers take one of their few opportunities so far to play a team with a winning record and turn that into a series win. It was also good to see a player like Taylor be responsible for much of that success.