Brewers: Projecting the Ideal 2023 Opening Day Starting Lineup

Matt Carroll
Christian Yelich
Christian Yelich / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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Rowdy Tellez / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Batting 4th: 1B Rowdy Tellez

See, we didn't have to go too far in order to find Rowdy.

Tellez had no problem producing runs for the Brewers in 2022. His 35 long bombs led the team while his 89 RBIs were second behind Adames. That by far surpassed his career high of 21 back in the 2019 season with Toronto.

Rowdy had some lower numbers outside of that, though. He finished the season hitting just .219, setting a new career low for a season, and had a .306 on base percentage, technically a thousandth of a percentage point than the previous year but far from his career high for a season.

Those numbers brought his career average and OBP down to .236 and .307, respectively. Because of that and because he still is plenty good at driving runners in, it makes much more sense to give the third spot to a guy like Contreras and shift Tellez down to more of a run-producing spot in the lineup.

Batting 5th: DH Jesse Winker

Speaking of run production, Brewers fans have seen Jesse Winker produce plenty of runs in the past. Unfortunately it was for the other team, the Cincinnati Reds to be exact. Now, he gets to play for the good guys instead.

There's no getting around the fact that Winker had a rough offensive year in 2022, his lone season with the Mariners. Playing in 136 games, he batted just .219 with 15 doubles, 14 homers, and 53 RBIs, though he did at least put up a .344 OBP.

But his five previous seasons with the Reds are why the Brewers acquired him. In those seasons, he never had an average under .255 and had an OPS of at least .830 every year, topping out at a .305 average and .949 OPS during his 2021 All-Star season.

Winker isn't a particularly gifted outfielder these days, but the Brewers have plenty of those so you'll likely see him in the designated hitter role most of the time. If he returns to his old self there, you could even see him rise in the order later in the season. But for starters, manager Craig Counsell might play it safe and keep him in the 5th spot.

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