2022 Milwaukee Brewers Season Preview

2022 milwaukee brewers season preview
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The Milwaukee Brewers team is similar to what it looked like last year. The Brewers quickly rose to the top in a weak NL Central division. But, their regular-season success didn’t translate well in the playoffs, bowing out in four games of the NLDS. Milwaukee has the pitching and a more potent lineup courtesy of retooling the offense. The window to win a championship is open, and winning a second consecutive division title is well in reach. Here’s the preview of the 2022 Brewers.

2022 Milwaukee Brewers Season Preview

Catchers

Omar Narváez, Pedro Severino (suspended), Mario Feliciano, Brett Sullivan

Omar Narváez was an All-Star last season. He was exceptional in the first half who has evolved into one of baseball’s most highly-rated pitch framers. Newcomer Pedro Severino comes to the Brewers as a hitter first and a catcher second. However, Severino is suspended 80 games after testing positive for a banned substance. The Brewers’ backup to Narváez comes to two players with a combined one-game major league experience- Mario Feliciano and Brett Sullivan.

Infield

Willy Adames, Mike Brosseau, Keston Hiura, Jace Peterson, Rowdy Tellez, Kolten Wong

It’s the 11th consecutive year that the Brewers will have a different first baseman starting on Opening Day. Rowdy Tellez hopes to change that after being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays last July. Tellez had trouble finding playing time in Toronto but delivered in Milwaukee. Similar to Tellez, Willy Adames made an immediate impact on Milwaukee. After the trade, Adames came from Tampa Bay and contributed with 20 home runs in 99 games. Adames showcases power, and he may be underrated on defense too. In 158-at bats, he hit .272/.331/.481 with a .814 OPS. Kolten Wong had career highs in home runs and slugging percentage last season. He was nominated for this third straight Gold Glove despite being limited to 116 games. He should play as the Brewers’ everyday second baseman in 2022.

Luis Urias went down with an injury, leaving the Brewers to cover third base on a short-term basis. Left-handed hitter Jace Peterson and right-handed hitter Mike Brosseau figure to play the hot corner in the meantime. Brosseau has played all infield positions during spring training. With Urias injury, Brosseau’s limited experience at shortstop might be helpful in a backup role.

Outfield

Lorenzo Cain, Andrew McCutchen, Hunter Renfroe, Tyrone Taylor, Christian Yelich

There’s lots of potential here with this outfield group. Milwaukee is set to start Andrew McCutchen as the team’s DH. He will get a chance to play in the field too. Christian Yelich needs to turn in a productive 2022 campaign. He’s coming off a career-worst .735 OPS while hitting only nine home runs in 475 plate appearances. Even though he was battling back problems early last season, Yelich may have to lead the way on the field and in the batter’s box. Like Yelich, Lorenzo Cain battled a series of injuries last season. When healthy, the former World Series champion is a spark in the lineup, but he’s entering the final year of his contract. His primary backup is Tyrone Taylor, who’s quickly emerged as a quality outfielder.

The Brewers swapped Jackie Bradley Jr. and two prospects to the Boston Red Sox for Hunter Renfroe. He fills the void in right field following Avisal Garcia’s departure via free agency. Milwaukee is getting a good at-bat in Renfroe, who hit 31 home runs with a career-best 96 RBI. Against lefties, having Renfroe play first base gives the Brewers a chance to get good right-handed bats in the lineup as much as possible. For Tyrone Taylor, he went 11-for-25 with three home runs and three doubles. Taylor has proved he belongs as part of the outfield mix.

Starting Pitchers

Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta, Adrian Houser, Eric Lauer, Aaron Ashby

No surprise here. All five return this season that features three All-Stars in Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta. However, the Brewers used a six-man rotation for most of last season, and they will do so again this year. Burnes is the reigning NL CY Young Award winner whose goal is to make at least 30 starts on the campaign. Woodruff is usually a slow starter, but he’s lethal on the mound and with teammate Freddy Peralta. Peralta will look to use a changeup more often than before. The movement and usage of the pitch were key focuses for Peralta. Altogether, with this group, it seems fair to expect the Brewers pitching staff to be among the league’s best this season.

Adrian Houser worked on refining his grips for his changeup and slider. While his sinker was good against batters, he has issues with walks without a pitch to put away the batter. Eric Lauer continues to show success since throwing a more short-armed delivery, as that continued throughout the spring. Aaron Ashby figures to split time between the rotation and the bullpen. After a great first season, he’s ready to establish himself even more. Ashby has been stretched out all camp as a starter, as he’ll be ready for either role.

Bullpen

Josh Hader, Devin Williams, Brad Boxberger, Jandal Gustave, Brent Suter, Jake Cousins, Trevor Gott,  Jose Ureña 

The Brewers bullpen is built for run prevention, thanks to their depth. The first five names above are locks for the bullpen. After that, it gets interesting. Trevor Gott, who the Brewers immediately signed when free agency commenced, is on the roster. The belief with Gott is there for his fine pitch mix, and he has experience closing out games. Jake Cousins has great pitches but can run into command issues at times. He needs to throw his fastball for more strikes if he wants to be effective on the mound. Jandal Gustave has a slider that proves to be his strongest pitch. The Brewers signed Ureña on March 29 and added him to the 40-man roster. Best known for his time as a Miami Marlins starter, Ureña can pitch multiple innings if needed.

2022 Milwaukee Brewers Season Preview Outlook

There is every reason to believe that the Brewers can earn a fifth straight playoff berth. One key concern is whether the Brewers can be more productive from a lineup with only six runs in the NLDS. Furthermore, Yelich needs to find his game, hopefully recapturing his 2018-19 form where he was the NL MVP. The team’s performance, plus the lineup changes they made over the offseason, will go a long way to determine if Milwaukee can exceed its expectations.

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Players mentioned:

Omar Narváez, Pedro Severino, Willy Adames, Mike Brosseau, Keston Hiura, Jace Peterson, Rowdy Tellez, Kolten Wong, Lorenzo Cain, Andrew McCutchen, Hunter Renfroe, Tyrone Taylor, Christian Yelich, Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta, Adrian Houser, Eric Lauer, Aaron Ashby, Josh Hader, Devin Williams, Brad Boxberger, Brent Suter, Jake Cousins, Trevor Gott, Jandel Gustave, José Ureña