For the Milwaukee Brewers, the National League Central District was a safe zone. Advancement to the postseason was guaranteed even if only the basic power was maintained. Last year, ‘ESPN’ predicted Milwaukee as the No. 1 team in the Central Division of the National League by 32 out of 39 experts.

ESPN predicted Milwaukee’s chance of advancing to the postseason at 86.5%. Only the Los Angeles Dodgers (97.3%), Toronto Blue Jays (90.8%) and Houston Astros (87.7%) were higher than Milwaukee. It did not mean that Milwaukee’s power was highly evaluated, but it meant that Milwaukee belonged to an advantageous district.

In fact, Milwaukee seemed to be going up to the postseason without difficulty while defending the No. 1 position in the district until July. However, in the remaining 60 games since August, it has been sluggish with 29 wins and 31 losses. During the same period, the St. Louis Cardinals ran 39-21, knocking down Milwaukee and taking the top spot in the district.메이저사이트

Last year, the major leagues widened their postseason gates with three wild cards for each league. But Milwaukee didn’t enjoy this benefit either. The Philadelphia Phillies, who had a better record than Milwaukee with 32 wins and 28 losses since August, rode the last train of the postseason with a difference of one game. The postseason was a shocking elimination for Milwaukee, which was considered a matter of course. The four consecutive years of advancing to the postseason also ended in vain.

2018: 96-67 .589 <NLCS loss>
2019: 89-73 loss .549 <NLWC loss>
2020: 29-31 loss .483 <NLWC loss>
2021: 95-67 loss .586 <NLDS loss>
2022: 86-76 .531

No excuses. Milwaukee immediately placed the blame on President David Stearns. Stearns, who was under contract until 2023, could be released from the remainder of his contract if Milwaukee made it to the League Championship Series. When that happens, rumors circulate that he will be taken by the New York Mets (Sterns is from New York). However, the opt-out disappeared like a bubble when the conditions were not met. Rather, he stepped down as a permanent advisor and his role within the club was reduced. And the president, which was vacant due to Stearns’ demotion, was taken over by general manager Matt Arnold.

Teams that fail to achieve their goals undergo organizational reorganization to improve their constitution. Milwaukee also pulled out his sword while changing the leadership. However, he could not swing his sword aggressively where he needed it. There was a limit to spending due to the team’s circumstances with weak financial power, and this time, the recruitment of free agents was very passive.

1. Wade Miley ($4.5 million in 1 year)
2. Brian Anderson ($3.5 million in 1 year)
3. Justin Wilson ($1 million in 1 year)

On the other hand, the trade market was active. Milwaukee has been promoting a two-track strategy since last year. While he’s bolstering his major league roster, he’s also taking care of his minor league farm. It is a way to proceed with contending to fight the present and rebuilding to prepare for the future. In response, Milwaukee sent Hunter Renfro and Colton Wong to the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners, respectively, and immediately received prospects, including Jessie Winker, with a sense of power. He also transfused catcher William Contreras through a three-way trade.

1. Jesse Winker & Abraham Toro (from Seattle)
2. William Contreras (from Atlanta)
3. Owen Miller (from Cleveland)
4. Bryce Wilson (from Pittsburgh)

He spent more time rebuilding his batting line than he did on the mound. Nevertheless, he failed to bring in an intimidating hitter. Contreras is the hitter who draws the most attention.

Last year, Milwaukee’s catcher offense was at a serious level. Victor Karatini and Omar Navaez hit rock bottom (Carratini batted .199 in 95 games, Navares batted .206 in 84 games). Contreras has the resources to improve the catcher’s offensive power (.278 batting average in 97 games, 20 homers). His performance against left-handed pitchers, another concern for Milwaukee’s batting lineup, is also impressive (his career batting average .308 OPS .934). The verification of the full-time season and the catcher’s defense are question marks, but it is a right-handed hitter who can balance Milwaukee’s batting line, which is lined with left-handed hitters.

The strength of Milwaukee’s lineup was home runs, and its weakness was accuracy. The team’s 219 home runs were second in the league and third overall (New York Yankees’ 254 home runs, Atlanta’s 243 home runs). However, the team’s batting average of .235 was a failing grade even considering the extreme pitch-and-going phenomenon (league average batting average of .243). There was no hitter with a batting average in the late 20th range, let alone a 30% hitter. Among the 12 hitters with more than 250 at bats, Renfro ranked first in batting average (.255).

The problem lies here. Renfro was also the third-best hitter on the team (29 homers). He was a hitter who made his strengths stronger and his weaknesses less weak. Renfro’s void must be filled by someone, but right now there is no suitable person in sight. Willy Adames, who awakened last year, should become a stronger pillar, and the growth of promising players with potential should also be accompanied. Among them, attention is being paid to Bryce Turang, who is aiming for the second base spot that Wong left. Tourang, who recorded a batting average of .286 with 13 homers and 34 stolen bases in 131 Triple-A games last year, can become a trump card if running baseball becomes active.

Of course, there are players who are obliged to do it. Christian Yelich is the only high-paid player on the team. He had a healthy season last year, but his performance was more embarrassing because he was healthy (. 252 batting average in 154 games, 14 homers and 19 stolen bases). The slugging percentage of .383 is a figure that is hard to understand no matter how much you concede. He revealed that during the winter he left baseball to cool his head. If the defensive shift fails to attack even the loose gap, Yelich’s rebound should be discouraged.

Milwaukee’s pride is its starting lineup. Starting with 2021 Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burns, the top and bottom selections leading to Brandon Woodruff, Freddie Peralta and Eric Lauer are solid. Burns, who should lead the starting lineup again this year, has completely risen to the top of the league (12-8, ERA 2.94, 202 innings). However, except for Burns, the rest of the starting pitchers did not avoid injuries last season. It was especially painful that Peralta, who had to form a triangle with Burns and Woodruff, only threw 78 innings.

Plan B also didn’t work properly. Because the reliance on the existing starters was so high, the difference in performance when another pitcher was replaced was large. In 35 games with a provisional starting pitcher, the team’s record was only 13 wins and 22 losses. It is close to impossible for the 5 starting system to operate without a hitch in the 162 game long run. This year, it is necessary to develop crisis management skills to minimize shock in preparation for injuries.

The bullpen needs an overhaul. Devin Williams, who appeared like a comet two years ago, has become a ‘two-faced man’. Because her control was unstable, she had many ups and downs. After he transferred to Josh Heider, he complied with a 2.57 earned run average in 22 games and 9 saves, but gave up 11 walks in 21 innings (4.71 walks per 9 innings). When pitching on thin ice at the end is frequent, team members become extremely fatigued due to tension.

The position of the middle pitchers to be put in before Williams is unclear. Matt Bush (ERA, 4.30 in 25 games), who was shaken after coming to Milwaukee, and Peter Stzelecki (ERA, 2.83 in 30 games), who are too early to shoulder the heavy responsibility, all have vague parts. In addition, it is a concern that Hobie Milner is the only left-handed bullpen right now. Free agent Justin Wilson is recovering from Tommy John surgery last June, and former all-weather pitcher Aaron Ashby could return in mid-May from a shoulder injury. In the end, coach Craig Counsell has to use his wits in difficult conditions to find a new support.

It’s hard to say that the winter has improved greatly. While Milwaukee was in place, St. Louis and Chicago Cubs had bold signings. They have to chase St. Louis, but the priority seems to be to shake off the Cubs’ pursuit. You can run blindly looking straight ahead and get hit in the back of the head.

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