How have the Brewers managed to replace the production of Christian Yelich?

After getting off to a hot start in 2024, Christian Yelich found himself on the IL after just two weeks
Apr 16, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;  Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Willy Adames (27) is greeted
Apr 16, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Willy Adames (27) is greeted / Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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The Brewers are approaching the end of their second week without Christian Yelich, and just now they are finally starting to miss his presence.

Yelich got off to a burning hot start through the 11 games he played to begin the season. He slashed .333/.422/.744 with a remarkable 1.166 OPS and was starting to turn back time to his MVP campaign in 2018. With Yelich out of the lineup, it has been a mixture of guys filling in, but all have seemingly produced when called upon. Let's take a look at some individual performers.

Let's begin by looking no further than the guy who came into the game for Yelich when he initially went down, Blake Perkins. When Perkins was given his chance, he took it and didn't look back. Perkins came into the game for Yelich in the second inning and wound up going 1-for-3 at the plate with a walk and run scored.

Perkins holds a batting average of .309 through his first 15 games of 2024. But, his bat might not even be the best part of his game. Perkins flashed his abilities in center field last weekend in St. Louis, when he stole a homer from Cardinals outfielder Lars Nootbaar. Perkins plays a fun brand of baseball and has given a spark to this Brewers roster while they work to get healthy.

Outside of Perkins stepping up, the Brewers have needed to rely heavily on a couple of constants in the outfield. Sal Frelick has been in the lineup every day since Yelich's back injury on April 12th. Frelick has contributed to multiple victories, batting leadoff a bulk of the time. Frelick does a solid job getting on base, holding an on base percentage (OBP) of .352 in 21 games thus far.

One issue the Brewers have had to work around with this early season injury to Yelich is the usage of Jackson Chourio. It's hard to know exactly what the plan was with Chourio for this year, but due to the early season injury bug, the Brewers have had to demand a lot from the 20 year old. Chourio has been slumping at the plate over the past week and is down to a stat line of .218/.271/.385 over his first 20 big league games. Getting Yelich back should only benefit Chourio, helping him calm down and diminishing the pressure on the rookie.

I'd be remiss writing this article and not mention the production that has come from non-outfielders. The Brewers have been relying heavily on run production from their superstar catcher, William Contreras. He brings an energy to this ball club that is unmatched, and he's determined to play in every game this season. Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweeted out the following last week.

"Forgot to tweet this out earlier at the park but asked William Contreras after the game when he’s going to take a day off. He’s caught 12 games and DH’d the other 2. Thursday, he said "When we have an off day." The man actually wants to try and play all 162."

via Curt Hogg

Not only does Contreras plan to play in every game, but he has seemingly not given Brewers skipper Pat Murphy the opportunity to take him out. Contreras holds a batting line of .341/.422/.534 through the first 22 games of 2024. So not only is Contreras consistently getting hits, but he's also getting on base, while hitting for power. The man has done it all and is a major factor in the early season success of this Brewers team.

The Brewers have also received meaningful contributions from Brice Turang, Willy Adames, and Rhys Hoskins, who have all played in at least 21 games to start the season. Turang is hitting .319 and is tied for most stolen bases in the majors with 12 in his first 21 games. Adames is coming into 2024 after his worst season in the majors last year, where he hit a lackluster .217 and held an OBP of .310, playing in 149 games. Although this season is still young, Adames has his average up to .287 and his OBP at .367, while playing in all 22 games. Hoskins has done his fair share at the plate as well, leading the team with 5 homers.

It will be interesting to see the roles change throughout the season, but the Brewers have managed to pick up some slack with Yelich on the IL. It is imperative that Yelich gets healthy soon though, as the Brewers have also had to eat innings on the mound with injuries to Wade Miley and DL Hall. All though the injury bug has seemingly begun to hit the Brewers, they still sit atop the NL Central early on in the season.

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