Milwaukee Brewers Last Season Performance
The 2022 MLB season was bittersweet for the Milwaukee Brewers. Despite finishing with an 86-76 (.531) record, the Brew Crew missed the playoffs for the first time since 2017 and finished seven games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the top spot in the NL Central. The Philadelphia Phillies beat Milwaukee out for the newly-added third Wild Card, and that was that for the Brewers’ season.
The most frustrating part of the season for the Brewers was they wasted the best start the team has had, with a 32-18 record through their first 50 games. Milwaukee finished the season a lackluster 54-58 and ended up outside the bubble. Injuries had a small part to play. But the truth is that lackluster play, extended slumps, and a few questionable roster moves plagued the team.
The Brewers were reasonably busy during the offseason and made some key acquisitions to help bolster their roster. Wade Miley rejoins the team after pitching for the Brewers when they went on a playoff run in 2018. He’s long been a solid starter and brings a veteran arm into the rotation.
Milwaukee also brought in RHP Javy Guerra, who made 17 appearances for the Rays last year and finished with a decent 3.38 ERA. Guerra won’t be a difference-maker per se, but he is an upgrade over some of the relievers from last season.
Jessie Winkler and Abraham Toro were acquired via a trade for Kolten Wong and cash. The former has shown flashes of brilliance over the last few seasons, and the Brewers hope to channel his talent to the field in 2023.
The Brewers added some depth to their infield with the signing of utility man Brian Anderson. He played primarily 3B and LF for the Marlins last year and could be a significant addition to this team if he can stay healthy.
The Brewers suffered a few crucial losses during the most recent offseason. The biggest was the trading of Hunter Renfroe to the Los Angeles Angels for pitchers Janson Junk, Elvis Peguero, and Adam Seminaris. The Brewers basically gave away Renfroe and got little in return. Rumor has it he’s a clubhouse cancer and considering this is Renfore’s fifth team in as many years, those rumors may hold water. The Brewers could have gotten more, though.
Milwaukee waived LHP Brent Suter, a reliable reliever for the team since 2016. The fan favorite was a budget-friendly option that the Brewers let walk for no discernable reason.
Other losses of note include Kolten Wong and Esteury Ruiz.
Manager: Craig Counsell
Counsell has been the Brewers’ manager for the last eight years and posted five winning seasons. The Brewers made the playoffs each year from 2018-2021 but fell short in 2022.
Counsell is in the final year of the three-year contract he signed in 2020 and is still awaiting the official decision on whether the Brewers will retain his services past 2023. Both sides appear headed toward a new contract, but the Brewers want to see how the season starts.
If things go South for the Brewers in 2023, there is a world where they and Counsell part ways. Especially with just one postseason series win in eight years. Still, the smart money is on an extension signed during the summer.
The Brewers are an above-average team in most regards, but they excel in limiting runs on the mound. Despite their second-half meltdown, Milwaukee finished with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP and ranked 4th in strikeouts per nine innings (9.52).
The Brewers were also one of the heaviest-hitting teams in 2023, with an average of 1.35 home runs and 4.34 RBIs per game. The Brew Crew ranked 5th in isolated power and third in the secondary average. Milwaukee is also a patient team with the fourth-best walk rate in the league (9.4%).
The biggest weakness for the Brewers last season was their inability to remain consistent. The second half of the season was one step forward and two steps back. The team is excellent on paper and ranked in the top ten in most metrics on the mound and at the plate. But if they can’t put the rubber to the road, it doesn’t matter what kind of horsepower this roster puts out. This team has a lot more potential than their .234 batting average from last season suggests.
Predictions for the 2023 Season
This is a solidly constructed team with the potential to be a top-3 offense. The Brewers might not have the top end that the Dodgers or Astros have, but their depth and well-roundedness will potentially put them in the highest tier of NL teams. There is always the chance that Christian Yelich will regain his stroke at the plate, but even with him hitting like a mere mortal, the Brewers finished fourth in home runs last season.
Consistency is critical, and if the Brewers can start and finish strong, a playoff run is not out of the question.
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