Brewers: Studs And Duds From Week One Of 2023 Spring Training
We've made it through one week of Brewers Cactus League games. Who has impressed and who has not? Although these games don't count, individual performances do when it comes to players trying to make the roster.
Who were the studs and came out of the gate hot in spring training? And who were the duds that stumbled out of the gate.
These are the Brewers studs and duds from the first week of 2023 spring training games.
Stud: INF Owen Miller
Wisconsin native Owen Miller was acquired over the offseason after struggling to get his offense going in Cleveland. Perhaps being in his hometown Brewers uniform is helping.
Through five games played, Miller is batting .429 (6 for 14) with 3 doubles, just one strikeout, and a 1.072 OPS. Half of his hits going for extra bases is an excellent sign for the 26 year old Miller.
Miller is in a tough battle for the utility infield job this year. Jace Peterson has departed and Miller is going against Mike Brosseau and Abraham Toro for the job. All three have minor league options remaining.
Coming into camp, it was believed Miller had an uphill battle to make the team for Opening Day, but if he keeps playing like this, he could force his way onto the team.
Dud: C William Contreras
The biggest acquisition of the Brewers offseason has not gotten off to an immediate hot start in spring training. Through five games played, Contreras is hitting .188 (3 for 16) with all hits being singles and no walks.
The good news is that Contreras hasn't struck out once. He's been putting the ball in play and over the course of a sample size larger than 16 at bats, the hits will even out and Contreras will see better production than hitting .188.
Is this "slow start" anything to be concerned about given how much the Brewers are depending on Contreras to help improve the offense? No, this is not the time to be concerned. It's week one of spring training and sure more hits would be nice, but they also don't count for anything right now.
Stud: RHP Tyson Miller
The Brewers claimed Tyson Miller off waivers from the Rangers in the offseason and he'll figure to be in the bullpen mix throughout the season, but if he keeps pitching like this, he may start the year in Milwaukee.
Through Miller's first three appearances, he's kept a perfect 0.00 ERA through five innings while allowing just one hit and striking out eight. You can't ask for anything better than that for a first impression.
Miller does have a minor league option remaining and there are several options for the bullpen that don't have options left, which may hurt his chances of making the Opening Day roster. However, pitching like this will force some difficult choices on Craig Counsell.
Dud: RHP Lucas Erceg
A third baseman baseman turned pitcher, Lucas Erceg can throw fireballs from the mound, but he's still relatively new to pitching after years as a hitting prospect. Still, it was believed that coming into camp that Erceg has turned himself into a legit relief prospect that could make his MLB debut this year.
So far in spring, Erceg has appeared in three games, covered 2.2 IP and has allowed three runs for a 10.13 ERA with four walks and just one strikeout.
As such, Erceg was among the first cuts from big league camp and was reassigned to the minor league side of the facility. In order for Erceg to get himself back on the big league side, he'll have to perform much better in Triple-A Nashville throughout the season. He's not on the 40 man roster, so a spot will have to open up for him to make it and he'll have to force the Brewers to do that. So far in spring, he wasn't able to and found himself in the first round of cuts.