Saturday, May 18, 2024

Brew Lease on Life


With the departure of Corbin Burnes, the prevailing theory was that the Milwaukee Brewers were going to attempt a partial rebuild and start slowly repopulating the team with rookies at a pace where they could still technically compete now. That seems to be what's happening, and considering the first place numbers, and the fact that they're not the team that keeps having to face Paul Skenes every weekend, this strategy seems to be working out.

One of the keys to the whole thing was some of the guys who were brought up last year improving and becoming everyday players. Brice Turang is doing just that, thankfully. The issue with Turang in 2023 was, despite an Opening Day start, and some excellent defensive numbers, the longtime infield prospect struggled at the plate. The hope was that it was first-year acclimation stuff, and his 2024 star has been confirming that. So far this season, Turang is hitting .300 with 42 hits and 16 steals. Turang is pure contact at this point, and is a very helpful, speedy and versatile young player that has been carrying a lot of the load so far. Turang is one of three Brewers starters currently hitting .300, alongside the incredible William Contreras and the still-excellent Christian Yelich. 

I think some of the other sophomores are slowly getting to where Turang is right now. Sal Frelick is still hitting around .250, but every so often he'll do something incredible in the outfield. Blake Perkins, similarly, is doing more defensively but is a great inclusion as an everyday player. Joey Ortiz seems to be the overall favorite for the starting 3rd base position going forward, he's hitting .277 at the moment.

And then you have the rookies, who are all impressing at the moment. Jackson Chourio's hit a lull since April but he's still doing a lot well in the outfield. But Robert Gasser, a top pitching prospect, has taken to the bigs easily, and has a 2-0 record and a .82 ERA in his first two starts. Clearly another NL Central rookie pitcher got all the publicity, but Gasser's got some nice stuff, and he doesn't seem to be overly reliant on strikeouts, he's just dominant. Even since-demoted rookies like Oliver Dunn and Tobias Myers had an impact on the Brewers' season thus far.

At the same time, the Brewers are also making smart, convenient decisions pay off. The rotation especially, they've gotten Colin Rea and Bryse Wilson, two guys that nobody would really think of as great starting options, performing well for them. Wilson was killing it in the pen, now he's got a 1.88 ERA in 5 games as a starter. He seems to finally be getting back to what the Braves thought they'd be getting with him around 2020. 

The Brewers have made a ton of great decisions, and that's why their leading the division over more newsworthy teams like the Cubs and Reds. I sincerely hope they keep it up, though, again, they haven't had to bat against Paul Skenes yet. 

Coming Tonight: I don't think the Mariners were expecting this guy to become so foundational to the competitive teams going forward, yet here he is. 

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