The first half of the 2023 MLB season was a bit of a rollercoaster ride for the Milwaukee Brewers, but in the end, they came into the All-Star break in relatively decent shape. They finished the first portion of the season by winning or tying their final five series and rolling in with a 49-42 record, good for second place in the NL Central, just a game behind the Reds.
With the first half in the books, it's time to look back on the performances of all the players over that time and hand out grades to each of them. We'll be handing out our report cards by position group, beginning with the starting pitchers.
The hope for Brewers fans was that the starting rotation would not suffer a similar fate as the 2022 version in terms of injuries. Unfortunately, the injury bug hit the rotation again, even striking down one possible starting candidate before the season began. Despite that, the rotation has held up relatively well with some surprise performances along the way.
Here are our 2023 first half grades for the Milwaukee Brewers starting pitchers.
RHP Corbin Burnes
For the last three years, it has been nothing short of domination as Corbin Burnes rose from a horrific 2019 season to become the team's ace and an NL Cy Young winner. And while this season hasn't quite matched those last three, he has proven to be a pitcher that still gives opposing batters fits.
For the most part, Burnes' numbers have seen a slight decline across the board. His 3.94 ERA is up from the sub 3.00 ERAs that he posted in each of the last three seasons, his 1.137 WHIP is also the highest since 2019, his home runs per nine are just a tick up from last season (1.2 versus 10) and his strikeouts per nine (8.6) are his lowest since his rookie season.
Burnes has still churned out plenty of strong performances, however. He has given up two earned runs or less in over half of his starts (10 of 18) and has struck out seven or more batters eight times in 2023. Perhaps that's why, despite the dip in production, Burnes was still named as an All-Star replacement, marking his third straight selection to the midsummer classic.