3 Brewers Who Need to Be Better for the Crew to Snap Out of Their Funk
By Matt Carroll
After a hot start to the season that saw the jump oumt to a quick lead in the National League Central division, the Milwaukee Brewers now find themselves in a bit of a funk. This last home series was just another example of that.
Granted, they were playing a hot Dodgers team loaded with talent. But after taking the first game of the series on Monday, the Brewers scored three total runs over the next two games as they went on to lose not just those contests, but the series as well. That gave Milwaukee losses in five of their last six series.
Luckily for the Crew, the rest of the NL Central is doing nearly as poorly as them. All five teams have losing records in their last ten games and the Brewers remain just a half game behind the Pirates for the division lead.
So a quick turnaround could put Milwaukee right back atop the division, but first they'll need to snap out of their current funk. Having a few players on the roster get hot at the right time could certainly help in that endeavor.
Here are three Brewers who need to be better for the team to snap out of their current funk.
#1 Brewers player who needs to be better: DH Jesse Winker
The Brewers traded for Jesse Winker this offseason, offloading second baseman Kolten Wong in the process, hoping for a bounceback season in 2023. Early on it looked like that might happen as he had hits in seven of his first nine games to start the year. But then a bout of bronchitis led to the start of a significant cooldown.
Since then, Winker is hitting just 8-for-44 (.182) and has brought his batting average down to .230 on the season. He's still getting on base at least as he has a .356 on base percentage on the year, but that's not the only reason the Brewers traded for him.
The hope upon acquiring Winker was that he would turn into the extra base terror that he was as a member of the Reds. So far, though, he has just three extra base hits, all doubles and no homers, and has driven in just 12. A quick turnaround from Winker could help the Brewers offense immensely.
#2 Brewers player who needs to be better: OF Joey Wiemer
After just missing the honor of being named to the Opening Day roster, outfielder Joey Wiemer was added to the active roster very shortly afterward, joining the team in the second game of the opening series against the Cubs. It wouldn't be long before a long-term injury to starting center fielder Garrett Mitchell would press him into more regular work.
The regular playing time hasn't helped Wiemer overcome a slow start at the plate, however. Through 36 games, the slugger is slashing just .211/.283/.358 and is has those numbers drop to .160/.192/.320 in nine games so far in the month of May.
Wiemer showed the other day the impact that he can make on offense when he went 2-for-3 with a three-run homer and four RBI while leading the Crew to a win over the Dodgers. He is already playing some very good defense and it would be great if his offense could come even somewhat close to consistently matching.
#3 Brewers player who needs to be better: OF Tyrone Taylor
Now finally healthy after missing spring training, outfielder Tyrone Taylor has been getting plenty of playing time himself in right field with Wiemer moving over to center. It has been a slow start to the season at the plate though.
In just nine games since returning from injury, Taylor is slashing just .207/.200/.310 with no walks and three strikeouts. He hit a home run in his third game back, but that is his only extra base hit and he has only one multi-hit game out of nine.
Not only does Taylor need to be better to help the Brewers turn things around, he needs to be better to keep his roster spot. Had Mitchell not been injured, one could've questioned whether Taylor would've been added back to the roster at all considering his lack of minor league options. If he doesn't finally show some potential, Milwaukee could finally choose to move in a different direction.
The Brewers will have a prime opportunity to snap out of their funk with upcoming series against the Royals and Cardinals. They'll need a few key players to step up in order to do it, though.