Here are four players who must step up if the Brewers want to make the 2022 MLB playoffs.
3. C Omar Narvaez
The Brewers traded for catcher Omar Narvaez before the 2020 season to be their offensive-minded catcher for the next few years. After severely struggling in his first year with the team, he returned to his offensive ways last season.
Narvaez slashed .266/.342/.402 in 2021 and made the first All-Star game of his career. And while it looked for a while like a repeat performance was taking place to start the 2022 season, the backstop has cooled off dramatically over the last few months.
Since the beginning of July, Narvaez is slashing a lowly .122/.215/.207 with a double and two homers in just 93 plate appearances. Of course, the reason he has that few PAs is because he missed most of the month of August due to a quad injury, his second IL stint of the season.
Perhaps the injury has played a big part in his offensive decline. Either way, the Brewers could use even mild production out of Narvaez in what could be some of his final games in a Milwaukee uniform.
4. C Victor Caratini
As it turns out, both of the Brewers’ primary catchers have seen their offensive production dip significantly over the second half of the 2022 season as Victor Caratini has followed a similar trend as Narvaez.
Caratini was one of the most effective hitters for the Brewers early on. Through the end of June, he had the third highest OPS (.794) and second highest wRC+ (128) of any position player on the team.
It’s been a completely different story since then. Caratini is slashing just .174/.250/.304 since July 1st of this season. He took almost all of the playing time behind the plate while Narvaez was on the shelf and it’s possible that the extra workload caught up to him.
Like Narvaez, if Caratini can improve just a little bit to finish out the year it could make the difference in putting up a couple extra wins against some weaker opponents. And if he can do it against anyone, it’ll be against teams like the Diamondbacks, Marlins, and Reds.
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It might not feel like it, but the playoffs are still within reach. If these four players can step up down the stretch, the postseason could become a reality yet again.