What this Brewers offense is missing

The Brewers have undoubtedly played better than anyone expected this season, and are still in the hunt for the National League Central title. This has lead to Brewers general manager David Stearns making some moves to sure up the Milwaukee bullpen, which emerged as the team’s weakest unit.

The team has struggled since the All-Star break going 9-14 in that time. The starting pitching has been relatively good all season, and the bullpen has made strides as of late. What is really plaguing the Brewers is the fact that the offense isn’t hitting home runs and not scoring runs in general.

David Stearns mentioned how he would continue to look at every option available to improve this ball club. I’m sure he’ll continue to scour the waiver wire and look to make deals during the waiver trade deadline.  He could also continue to bring up younger players from the minor league in hopes of a spark. Which might not really happen until September.

Lewis Brinson and Brett Phillips are two highly touted prospects, but both have shown that the Brewers need to be patient with their progression as they’ve both struggled in their limited time at the big league level.

There has been a lot said lately about how the Brewers have struggled to score runs especially when they aren’t hitting home runs. That is true, but the team is struggling to even get on base at the same time. What I think this Brewers team is missing is a true lead-off hitter. Jonathan Villar was the Brewers lead-off man for most of last season, but he has been anything but productive so far this season.

Villar is hitting .216 this season with 8 home runs and 32 RBIs. He does have 20 stolen bases, but has shown a lack of concentration on the bases too many times in his career. He has also struck out 111 times this season, which is over 34% of his at-bats. His on-base percentage of .276 is terrible for a traditional lead-off hitter. He has also committed 11 errors this season, which doesn’t help his case.

Eric Sogard has also seen quite a bit of time in the lead-off spot since mid-May. He was fitting the role nicely up until he went on the disabled list just before the All-Star break. Since returning to the lineup a little more than two weeks ago, he has really struggled. Since July, Sogard is a combined 3-39 for a batting average of .077 during that time period. The Brewers have to monitor his playing time because he is coming off of knee reconstruction surgery.

The Brewers don’t really have many other options. Eric Thames and Domingo Santana have seen some time at the top of the order, but Craig Counsell and the Brewers would prefer them lower in the order. Keon Broxton has also gotten starts in the lead-off spot, but has struck out at too high of a clip to be a good candidate for the position. The Brewers could try Orlando Arcia at the top spot in the order, but Craig Counsell seems content with batting him in the seventh or eighth spot.

Without a consistent lead-off hitter, the Brewers offense will continue to struggle as long as they aren’t hitting the long ball. For my money, I’d pull the trigger on calling up top prospects Lewis Brinson and/or Mauricio Dubon and let them find their swings at the major league level.

 

 

 

 

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Results

All-Star week festivities kicked off Sunday afternoon with the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Marlins Park in Miami. The Futures Game features the best minor league prospects in baseball. Team USA came away with a narrow 7-6  victory over the World team. The USA team has now won seven of the last eight contests and twelve of the nineteen All-Star Future games. MVP honors went to Brent Honeywell, property of the Tampa Bay Rays organization, who started the game for the United States. Honeywell went two innings, allowing no hits or walks, and striking out four batters. The Brewers organization was represented well, as they had three prospects playing in the game. Playing in the game for the Brewers organization was Lewis Brinson, Corey Ray, and Mauricio Dubon.

Brewer Prospects

Lewis Brinson

Brinson was the only Brewers prospect to start in the Futures game. He started in center field and batted second in the Team USA order. In his first at-bat in the first inning, Brinson struck out on a full count from a nasty slider. In his second at-bat, Brinson worked the count full and ended up walking. Just a few pitches after walking, he showed off his good speed, and stole second base with ease. In the fourth inning, he had an RBI double and scored a run. Brinson’s last two at-bats in the game were hard-hit fly outs to center and right field respectively. Brinson earned the second highest bat speed in the game, recording a bat speed of 75.4 mph. He was also the only player on the USA team to play all nine innings. Brinson finished the game 1-4 with an RBI, run, walk, and a stolen base.

Corey Ray

Ray entered the game in center field in the sixth inning after Lewis Brinson was moved to left. He struck out swinging in his first at-bat of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. In his second plate appearance in the eighth inning, Ray grounded out to another Brewers prospect, Mauricio Dubon, at second base. In the top of the ninth inning, Ray committed an error in center field. On a base hit to center, he looked up to throw the runner out at home too soon and the ball went right under his glove. He finished the game 0-2 with a strikeout. Ray may have struggled while playing in the Futures game, but he shined in batting practice before the game. Ray put on a show lunching eight home runs, most by any prospect who took batting practice before the game.

Mauricio Dubon

Dubon entered the game in the fifth inning at second base. He is a shortstop by trade, but is expected to join the Brewers next year as a second basemen. In his first at-bat in the sixth inning, Dubon doubled down the right field line and scored a run. In the seventh inning, Dubon lined one to another Brewers prospect in Lewis Brinson. The two Colorado Springs teammates had a good laugh and were joking with each other. Dubon’s third at-bat ended the game in the top of the ninth as he grounded out on a sharply hit ball to third. He finished the game 1-3 with a run.

Broxton backs Davies in win over Pirates

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers avoided dropping in the National League Central standings by taking down the Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday night 3-1 at Miller Park. Zach Davies collected his 14th win of the year as he tossed 6.2 innings, allowing one run on six hits. Manny Piña backed him up with a pair of RBI, while […]

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Report: Anderson to start Sunday

The Milwaukee Brewers announced their starting pitchers for this weekend’s series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors field. According to a report from Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy, Chase Anderson is feeling good and will pitch Sunday’s series finale against the Rockies The plan was for Anderson to make three rehab starts before rejoining the […]

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Report: Brinson out 4-6 weeks

The Milwaukee Brewers top prospect Lewis Brinson left Tuesday night’s game for Triple-A Colorado Springs with a left leg injury. Brinson was seen with a noticeable limp after coming up lame while running to first base. His injury didn’t look good as it happened, and he was later pinch-hit for an inning later. According to […]

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Brett Phillip’s bounce back season continues

Brett Phillips was the prized possession of the 2015 non-waiver trade deadline deal with the Houston Astros. The trade sent Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers to the Astros in exchange for Phillips, Domingo Santana, Josh Hader, and Adrian Houser. The Brewers had high expectations for Phillips, but it was Santana and Hader who continued to […]

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Chase Anderson made second rehab start Sunday

Chase Anderson made his second rehab start with Triple-A Colorado Springs. It wasn’t as good of a result as his first rehab start with Low-A Wisconsin. Anderson threw 67 pitches and only 39 for strikes. He went 4 1/3 innings allowing four runs on six hits, while walking one and striking out two batters. Anderson […]

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All-Star Break Schedule

The Major League Baseball All-Star Break is only a few games away for most teams. The Brewers will have a one game series in Chicago due to a “rain out” earlier this season, and then head to New York for a three game series with the Yankees before the break. The official All-Star break starts on Monday, July 10th and goes through Thursday, July 13th. Before the major league All-Star festivities begin, Marlins Park in Miami will host the All-Star Futures game.

Futures Game

The Futures Game showcases minor league talent from many different levels. The Brewers will have three prospects participating in this game. Lewis Brinson and Corey Ray will represent the organization and play for the U.S. team. Brinson is the Brewers top prospect while Ray is the Brewers second ranked prospect. Both players are prized outfielders ranked in the top-25 for minor league prospects. Brinson has already gotten his feet wet in the majors this season, and Ray is expected to be on a fast-track to the majors. Mauricio Dubon, the ninth ranked prospect in the Brewers system will also play in the game, but on the World team. Dubon is a SS/2B who has recently been called up to Triple-A after having a breakout season in Double-A. Fans should expect to see Dubon in Milwaukee for September call-ups.

The Futures Game will be held on Sunday, July 9th at Marlins Park in Miami. The game will start at 3 p.m. CST and can be viewed on MLB Network and MLB.com. The All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball game will follow the Futures Game.

All-Star Events

On Monday, July 10th, the T-Mobile Home Run Derby can be seen on ESPN at 7 p.m. CST. The telecast of the Celebrity Softball game will air after the Home Run Derby.

On Tuesday, July 11th, the All-Star Game will be played live from Marlins Park. Game time will be 6:30 p.m. CST and can be seen on FOX.

 (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The Brewers closer Corey Knebel will be participating in the All-Star game representing the Brewers and the National League. The 25-year-old flame throwing right-hander was named to his first All-Star team. In 40 2/3 innings, Knebel has only allowed five earned runs and struck out 71 batters. Knebel is in the midst of extending his major league record 41 consecutive outings with a strikeout. He has converted 13 saves in 16 attempts.

Report: Anderson to start Sunday

The Milwaukee Brewers announced their starting pitchers for this weekend’s series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors field. According to a report from Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy, Chase Anderson is feeling good and will pitch Sunday’s series finale against the Rockies The plan was for Anderson to make three rehab starts before rejoining the […]

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Report: Brinson out 4-6 weeks

The Milwaukee Brewers top prospect Lewis Brinson left Tuesday night’s game for Triple-A Colorado Springs with a left leg injury. Brinson was seen with a noticeable limp after coming up lame while running to first base. His injury didn’t look good as it happened, and he was later pinch-hit for an inning later. According to […]

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Brett Phillip’s bounce back season continues

Brett Phillips was the prized possession of the 2015 non-waiver trade deadline deal with the Houston Astros. The trade sent Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers to the Astros in exchange for Phillips, Domingo Santana, Josh Hader, and Adrian Houser. The Brewers had high expectations for Phillips, but it was Santana and Hader who continued to […]

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Chase Anderson made second rehab start Sunday

Chase Anderson made his second rehab start with Triple-A Colorado Springs. It wasn’t as good of a result as his first rehab start with Low-A Wisconsin. Anderson threw 67 pitches and only 39 for strikes. He went 4 1/3 innings allowing four runs on six hits, while walking one and striking out two batters. Anderson […]

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Smooth Santana leads Brewers to 7-4 win over Reds

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers broke out of an offensive slump in a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds, capped off by a 7-4 victory Sunday at Miller Park. Domingo Santana led the Brewers offense with his 19th home run of the year, driving in three runs in the process. Ryan Braun also stayed hot during […]

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