As the All-Star break continues, so does our series where we give out grades to the Milwaukee Brewers players for their first half performances in 2023. Here, we move on to the infielders and catchers.
With a mixture of key offensive holdovers from 2022, some new acquisitions and bounce back candidates, and young players with promise, there was some optimism surrounding the infield and catching groups heading into this season. As we reached the All-Star break, though, there was much to be desired from a majority of these players' performances in the first half of 2023.
Here are our 2023 first half grades for the Milwaukee Brewers infielders and catchers.
1B Rowdy Tellez
Brewers fans have seen two sides of Rowdy Tellez so far in the 2023 season. There was the first version, which was possibly the hottest offensive player on the team, and then there was the second version which was almost as cold as could be.
As of May 4th, Tellez was killing it. Through 28 games, he was batting .258 with a .911 OPS, four doubles, nine homers, and 22 RBI. In 51 games since then, he's batting just .186 with a .528 OPS, three doubles, three homers, and 14 RBI.
That puts Tellez at a combined .213 average and .672 OPS, both of which would be career lows for a season, with just seven doubles, 12 homers, and a -0.4 bWAR. Rowdy hit the injured list right before the All-Star break with forearm inflammation, which hopefully ends up explaining some of his struggles. Injury or not, though, the Brewers need way better production in the second half from what was supposed to be one of their top run-producing options.
2B Brice Turang
Similarly to Rowdy, rookie Brice Turang had a pretty decent start to the season before going through an even worse cold streak. The difference is that Turang started showing some signs of life again, if only slight ones, heading into the All-Star break.
Turang was sitting at a .256/.316/.356 slash line through the first 31 games of his career. He wasn't expected to be a heavy hitter anyway (though he had his first career grand slam already under his belt), and a better OBP would be nice, but at least the average was in a decent spot. Then came the slump, punctuated by a 1-for-40 stretch and a demotion to Triple-A Nashville to work things out.
Turang came back up for 11 games before the All-Star break and had some timely hits but was only slightly improved offensively. Luckily, he has provided some Gold Glove caliber defense, which has saved the team at times. Still, if he doesn't improve upon a .207/.265/.315 slash line, good defense might not be enough to keep others from cutting into his playing time.