The train is back on the tracks for the 2022 Milwaukee Brewers. The team was badly in need of a good week after a 2-9 start to the month of June saw its lead in the NL Central evaporate. That’s exactly what manager Craig Counsell and company got, as a weekend sweep of the Reds made up for a 1-2 set in New York against the Mets and allowed them to close the week at 4-2.
There are many storylines to note, none bigger than Counsell finally surpassing Phil Garner for most managerial wins in Brewers history. The team’s 10-2 triumph in New York on Wednesday got him that milestone after it took a total of 11 games to win Counsell the final 2 he needed.
Another big story came Saturday morning when the club decided to designate OF Lorenzo Cain for assignment. Cain was a significant piece of the team’s run to the NLCS in 2018 and was a clubhouse staple since signing with the club in January of 2018. In a classy move, the Brewers made the tough call on the day Cain reached 10 years of MLB service time, ensuring Cain would receive full pension benefits moving forward.
It’s been a tough day in Cincy for the Brewers. They DFAd Lorenzo Cain on the date of him reaching 10 years of MLB service time.
He placed 7th in MVP voting in 2018 and won a Gold Glove the next.
Current Standing: 38-30 (T1st in NL Central with St. Louis)
The Good: Leadoff Yelich
There is a lot of “good” to note from the week, including good power performances from Hunter Renfroe (3 HRs, 1.137 OPS) and Willy Adames (2 HRs) and Jason Alexander’s first career win.
My biggest storyline is the emergence of a new Christian Yelich. Counsell made the call to move him up to the leadoff spot (a move I’ve wondered about for some time) a little more than a week ago. Yelich has contributed consistently since that point, as he’s reached base safely in 9 of 10 games since the switch, he’s scored 8 runs and his year-long slash line has risen to .242/.325/.706.
By no means is he the Yelich of 2018, but the power numbers and consistency just weren’t there when he was in the 3 slot. This version of the former MVP should get fans excited, as he’s become an on-base machine at the top of the lineup and now consistently sets up Renfroe, Adames, Rowdy Tellez and others with RBI opportunities.
Counsell deserves a tip of the cap for sliding him up to leadoff and give Yelich some credit as well for adapting to a new role. This team will win baseball games thanks to his production at the top of the lineup.
The Bad: Not Much
There really isn’t much “bad” to note from the week. Tuesday’s loss in New York was just a dud of a performance, kind of a carry-over from the two-week-long struggle the team had. Then Thursday’s loss happens during the long season, with an error in the 8th giving the Mets the lead and the tying run being thrown out at the plate in the 9th.
Maybe I’m an optimist. I view the team’s sweep of the Reds as a great turning point from the long skid, especially with some key players getting set to return to the field.
Some individual struggles that are worth mentioning: Aaron Ashby (4 ER in 4.1 innings), Luis Urias (4/21, .547 OPS).
"We took Couns into a beer shower. And that was really, really dope from him. That tells you what kind of person and manager he is. Not a lot of managers are going to do that, just jump in the cart and get a beer shower from the players."
If this is the end of the Lorenzo Cain's major-league career, what a run: 13 seasons 1,171 regular-season games 1,220 hits 336 XBH 87 homers 190 stolen bases .283/.343/.407 slash line A top 3 finish for AL MVP 2 All-Star appearances A Gold Glove Award 2015 WS champion