3 Brewers Who Will Play Crucial Roles During The Final Third Of The Season
By Tyler Koerth
After sweeping a two game series against the Tampa Bay Rays at home, the Brewers recorded their 60th win of the season. They did this in their 110th game of the season, which means there is about one third of the regular season remaining.
As expected, the Brewers and Cardinals are competing for the NL Central Division title. With the new playoff format, the third division winner becomes the No. 3 seed in the wild card round (No. 1 and No. 2 seeds have first round bye’s) and would have home field advantage during a best of three series. This makes winning the division even more important.
Should they miss out on this, a wild card entry into the playoffs is still within reach. It is possible that the Brewers could surpass the Braves, Phillies, and Padres in the win/loss column and claim the No. 4 seed (also has home field advantage). If that doesn’t happen and the Crew is still a playoff team, they then would play on the road.
With the final third of the regular season upon us, the Brewers are going to need good performances out of players in order to reach the post season.
Here we will take a look at three Brewers who will play crucial roles during this final stretch of the 2022 season.
1) Freddy Peralta
After spending significant time on the IL with a shoulder injury, Freddy Peralta is back in the Brewers starting rotation. He went down in the middle of May and was not quite pitching to his standards at that time. He had a 4.42 ERA after his first eight starts pre-injury.
Since returning, he has made two starts. The Brewers have been cautious with him during these games in terms of pitches thrown for he topped out at 65 in his most recent game. If all goes well, he should be fully ramped up within his next few starts.
For the Brewers, having Peralta pitch at the level he is capable of would be a huge boost to this team. Had he not missed time in 2021 as well, most believed he would have received Cy Young votes. Hopefully he can pitch to that caliber over the next few months.
2) Victor Caratini
Caratini was acquired via trade prior to the season starting due to Pedro Severino being suspended for 80 games and being ineligible for the playoffs. He had a terrific offensive first half to the season that included a 127 wRC+.
Post All-Star break, Caratini has stumbled a bit. Over 16 games played he has just six hits, and a .146/.286/.268/.554 slash line. With Omar Narvaez currently on the IL, he will draw a vast majority of the starts behind home plate.
According to Fangraphs, Caratini has been an incredible hitter in high leverage situations that includes a 1.040 OPS. He did have a memorable walk off on the fourth of July against the Cubs, so if he can come through during key moments of the game that would be big for the Brewers.
3) Kolten Wong
It was a rather lackadaisical first half of the season both with the glove and the bat for second baseman Kolten Wong. Defensively, he has been one of the best since 2018 and he did a very nice job as the leadoff hitter for the Crew in 2021.
Unfortunately in the first half more often than not he was unable to come through on the defensive plays that we grew accustomed to him making. He additionally lost the leadoff spot in which Christian Yelich has now thrived in.
Thankfully, post All-Star break, Wong looks like him old self again. He is back to making ridiculous defensive plays and is one the hottest hitters in the league. He may be one of the biggest X factors the remainder of the season.
Of course there are lots of other players on the Brewers as well, but getting great performances from these three players during the final third of the season may be just what the team needs to get back to their winning ways.