It’s been slim pickings in terms of outfield depth for the Milwaukee Brewers lately.
The Crew have been without three outfielders who started the season on the roster after Hunter Renfroe (calf injury) found himself on the IL for a second time, Tyrone Taylor (concussion) landed there for his first, and Lorenzo Cain was DFA’d after reaching his ten years of service time.
That has left the Brewers with just four regular outfielders on the active roster and the results for those filling in across the outfield have been mixed.
Yes, Christian Yelich, who has done well since moving to the leadoff spot, and Andrew McCutchen, who eventually rebounded from horrible streak upon his return from the Covid IL, have performed decently. Jace Peterson has had his moments in his few outfield appearances as well.
Outside of that, however, the production has been lacking. Taylor had been slowing down a bit before he hit the IL and Jonathan Davis, who was added to the roster after Cain’s DFA, and Keston Hiura haven’t added a ton during their work as outfielders.
So, with a chance to put some distance between themselves and the 2nd place St. Louis Cardinals in the division via a quick road trip that leads into the All-Star break, the Brewers could use one of their main outfielders back for an extra offensive punch. Today, they got one.
The Brewers got a much-needed boost to their outfield on Tuesday when it was announced Hunter Renfroe was returning from the injured list.
With the Brewers set to take on the Minnesota Twins for a quick two-game series on Tuesday, the team announced the return of Renfroe a few hours before the start of the game via their social media account.
Renfroe was signed last offseason to give the Brewers an offensive replacement in right field for Avisail Garcia, who left for the Marlins in free agency, as well as a defensive upgrade there. For the most part, most of those goals have been met.
As of June 22nd, when he played his last game before his most recent IL stint, Renfroe was second on the team in home runs with 13 and tied for second in RBIs with 27. He’d had hits in seven of his last eight games at that point and an extra base hit in five of his last six.
His reputation as having a dangerous arm in the outfield has stood true as well. Even having spent two times on the IL this season, Renfroe still sits second in the National League in outfield assists with seven so far this season.
To open space on the roster, the Brewers designated pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez for assignment. Milwaukee claimed him off waivers from the Twins last month hoping he could possibly be a useful long relief man or spot starter. But in four appearances with two starts, he had a 6.35 ERA over 11.1 innings while giving up three homers.
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The Brewers have a chance to go into the All-Star break with a little bit of momentum. Let’s hope Renfroe can help them do just that.