Brewers: An Updated Prediction Of The Brewers 2023 Opening Day Roster
Outfielders (4) - Christian Yelich, Garrett Mitchell, Brian Anderson, Tyler Naquin
You may have been looking at the infield group and wondered to yourself where Brian Anderson was. Fear not, Anderson is being grouped among the outfielders here. Why? Because with Tyrone Taylor's injury, Anderson, who was already slated to play a fair amount of right field, is likely to see the bulk of his playing time in right field until Taylor returns.
Christian Yelich is a lock, and Garrett Mitchell is essentially a lock. He's the top prospect that played well in his debut last season and has continued to play well in spring training. He's going to be the centerfielder for this team.
That leaves right field being covered by Anderson and Tyler Naquin. Naquin is another non-roster invitee but one with several years of big league experience and the versatility to play any outfield spot.
There is the potential for Sal Frelick to crack this group instead of Naquin. He also isn't on the 40 man but is a big part of the future plan for the Brewers. It would make some sense to go with him over Naquin, who isn't a part of future plans in Milwaukee. But they also have time on their side with Frelick. If they wait, they could extend his team control an extra year. I would argue that it's better to have your best 26 players on the roster, but for now I project that Frelick will start the year in Triple-A.
Designated Hitter (1) - Jesse Winker
While Jesse Winker is technically an outfielder, he figures to see most of his playing time at DH this year. His outfield defense is sub-par and would only be suited for left field, which is occupied by Christian Yelich. He doesn't have the arm for right field even though there are opportunities there, the Brewers would be better off playing someone else there on defense and have Winker just focus on hitting.
Starting rotation (6) - Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, Eric Lauer, Wade Miley, Adrian Houser
This is mostly chalk. There isn't much of a battle or controversy over the rotation. The top four are essentially locked in if all are healthy (knock on wood). Wade Miley as a free agent acquisition is slated for that fifth spot.
Sure there are others in camp competing for a rotation spot. Bryse Wilson and Janson Junk are among them. Injuries to Aaron Ashby and Jason Alexander have opened some opportunities to climb into the conversation, but this is a tough group to crack given the depth at the top.
Whether the Brewers actually start the year with a 6 man rotation or not remains to be seen. They might not, in which case Adrian Houser likely moves to the bullpen in the long relief role. He struggled a bit last year in the rotation and the veteran Miley seems more likely to stick in the rotation over Houser.