Through May and into the first week of June, the Milwaukee Brewers (32-27) are still leading the NL Central. The Brewers are legit contenders and are now buyers heading toward the All-Star break next month.
They have some great ball players, some areas of improvement to address, and a slew of injuries to overcome if they want to maintain their dominance in the NL Central. So let's look at the Brewers so far this season, the good, the bad, and the injured.
Milwaukee Brewers: The Good
Home runs, it's one of the things the Brewers can do. They are 5th in the National League in long balls. Rowdy Tellez leads the team with 12, but the rest are holding their own and getting the ball up and out.
Another big surprise to the Brewers' stat columns is they are fourth in the NL in stolen bases. Christian Yelich is taking advantage of the new MLB rules and terrorizing the basepaths. He has 14 stolen bases and has elevated himself to one of the NL Central's most wanted thieves.
The Brewers are also doing a great job of winning close games. Sort of as a result, they have a negative run differential but lead the division. That is impressive.
Milwaukee Brewers: The Bad
Now it's not all great, The Brewers are second to last in batting average at .230 as a team and strikeouts with 541. To make matters worse, they are dead last in the NL in doubles. The Brewers must address this immediately if they want to hold the division lead through June.
Meanwhile on the pitching side of things, the Brewers are bottom five in the NL with just 458 strikeouts on the mound. The pitching staff is also giving up a division-leading 78 home runs to opposing teams.
Milwaukee Brewers: The Injured
Injuries are decimating the Brewers' roster. Therefore, getting the team healthy is crucial to addressing trade targets as we get deeper into the season.
Brandon Woodruff went on the 60-day IL on April 7th with a subscapularis strain. He was set to return initially at the end of June, but that has now been pushed back to around the All-Star break. He continues to throw off flat ground and remains hopeful of returning from the 60-day injured list around the All-Star break.
Eric Lauer hit the 15-day IL on May 21st. He will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday. So hopefully, he will be back in Milwaukee the following week.
Wade Miley is scheduled to make a rehab start next Sunday with Double-A Biloxi, and Matt Bush will begin his rehab assignment in Nashville on Tuesday as both look to get off the 15-day DL.
Three pitchers are returning to the club in the next week and a half; it is promising.
Darin Ruf and Tyrone Taylor are headed to the 10-day IL as of Friday, but Willy Adames and Luis Urias are set to be in the lineup this week. Both at their best are .250 hitters and capable of 25 HR a year, they should push up the Brewers team average and hit 40 doubles between them from now on this season.
If it all goes to plan, the Brewers' rotation gets healthy, and the lineup average improves, there are a few trade targets the Brewers need to start eyeing. Charlie Blackmon is a Brewers kind of guy, even if there is a half-season guy to help improve the team average and hit a few doubles later in the season.
The St Louis Cardinals have a crowded outfield and look like sellers so far this season. Tyler O'Neill and Jack Flaherty could be good additions, and it might not take much for the Cardinals to part with them.
The excitement is catching on in Milwaukee, and it will be a lot of fun watching this Crew work their way to the NL Central title and, hopefully, a good playoff run.