2018 Milwaukee Brewers Depth Chart
The Milwaukee Brewers quest for an NL Central title and a revamped roster has the team pacing nicely. Off-season acquisitions in Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich kicked the team into high gear. Yelich is performing at an MVP-clip, tallying 28 long balls and batting well over .300. Cain has missed time due to injury, but his role within the organization has been a good fit for both parties. The strive for boosting talent is unwavering. Additions in Mike Moustakas, Jonathan Schoop, Curtis Granderson, and Gio Gonzalez mark regular season introductions that impact the depth of their roster. Dueling infusion between bats and pitchers have increased the team’s effectiveness and created a favorable stance within playoff contention.
|Catcher||Manny Pina||Erik Kratz||Jacob Nottingham|
|1st Base||Jesus Aguilar||Eric Thames|
|2nd Base||Jonathan Schoop||Travis Shaw|
|Shortstop||Orlando Arcia||Tyler Saladino|
|3rd Base||Mike Moustakas|
|Left Field||Ryan Braun||Hernan Perez||Domingo Santana|
|Center Field||Lorenzo Cain||Keon Broxton|
|Right Field||Christian Yelich||Curtis Granderson|
From a starting pitching perspective, the make-up doesn’t look all that impressive. Jhoulys Chacin leads the team in wins at 14, marking for the only double-digit win producer in the starting pitching role. Battling injury has been the main area of conquer and conquest for the team. Bringing Zach Davies back, a 33-game starter and 17-game winner last season, was a prolonged process. He returns to a sub-5.00 ERA, slightly higher than the 3.75 ERA he posted last season. Bringing in a veteran starter will help solidify this rotation and increase the rest period for the tasked starters. Gio Gonzalez is the form of relief this team desperately needed. He carries a middle-of-the-road season with a strong influence in distance terms. He will offer strong, quality starts that the team can rely on as they approach the post-season. The relieving crew has kept this team on the map. One of the team’s most-winning pitchers comes from the bullpen in Jeremy Jeffress. Abiding to this kind of production from a reliever role marks for an increase of production from these heavy utilized role pitchers. Josh Hader, the team’s set-up main, trails Jeffress slightly with a 2.08 ERA. His 127 strikeouts best nearly the entire starting rotation, creating for a second reliable relief arm. The closer, Corey Knebel, has struggled at times. He carries a mid-level ERA with solid production in the strikeouts per 9-innings category. Getting him back to game shape will create the depth the team needs to conquer an entire, 9-inning contest.
The talent within the infield is deep and creates impact at all corners of the first tier of defense. Travis Shaw was a strong influencer on the team a season ago and he returns to platoon at multiple infield positions. The Mike Moustakas acquisition shifted Shaw from a starting spot at 3rd to a time share between 2nd base and 1st base usage. The short stop position offers consistent defensive prowess with the likes of Orlando Arcia and Hernan Perez. This is a favorable trade off for defensive pairings, offering a slight advantage at the plate when the match-ups are there. Jesus Aguilar is the team’s All-Star 1st baseman. He leads the infield in all of the major offensive categories: slugging, on-base percentage, RBIs, home runs, and batting average. These starters are backed by serviceable players that could start on any other organization. Guys like Jonathan Schoop and Eric Thames offer substantial relief pieces that the team can work their batter versus pitcher pairings around.
The outfield represents the most changed area for the team in 2018. Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain were inserted into starting roles, shifting Ryan Braun to and from the outfield to infield positioning. Yelich is the main bat in the outfield. His .315 batting average is the best on the team and he trails Aguilar in RBIs by single digits. Cain has an incredible on-base percentage at .403, with Curtis Granderson marking the only other talent that is outperforming this effort. The team’s model for success is built around these acquisitions, leaving Ryan Braun with less to fend for in terms of offensive production. This area extends as a key contributor in run production and Cain produces the highlight reel catches in defense.
Since amassing this deep pool of talents, the daily lineup construction favors the match-ups. If a lefty is pitching, a steady influence of righty bats will find their way into the starting lineup for that day. Rest periods can be afforded due to this depth, limiting the task given to any one player. Order fluctuation occurs on terms of running the hot bat. At the beginning of the season, Christian Yelich was slotted near the top of the order. A power surge and an increased on-base percentage have him trending near the clean-up realm now. Whichever lineup the team utilizes daily, there is assurance in the hitting advantage category and the offensive run production category.