With the length of the baseball season, April is way too early to make judgments. However even with the sweep of the World Champion Boston Red Sox, everything is not perfect for the Milwaukee Brewers. Here is a look at three causes for concern after a great start.
Jim Henderson loses the closer role
At the start of spring, Jim Henderson was supposed to be the club’s closer. He was working on developing a change-up to get lefties out more efficiently. But after being beaten around the park in the Cactus League, Henderson lost confidence and velocity. He not only lost his closer role to begin the season, but has not even been trusted to be used late in games. With Wang on the roster and not being used in pressure situations, Henderson needs to regain his dominance and get back to being one of the better arms in the Brewers bullpen.
Rickie Weeks’ slow start
For the past two seasons, Rickie Weeks has been a notorious slow starter. In those seasons, he has failed to bat over .200 in both April and May. While he is no longer an everyday player, he needs to contribute more. Batting mostly against left-handed pitching, Weeks is just one for his first ten with three strikeouts. When he misses at the plate, he flies off poorly, often stumbling towards home-plate. He has also rolled in to two rally killing, pinch hit double plays. Defensively, he already has one error in five chances and he has bobbled chances for double plays, too.
Weeks is one of the highest paid players on the team entering his final season of guaranteed money. Out of the players on the roster, he has the most power potential at the second base position. For the platoon situation with Scooter Gennett to be beneficial, Weeks needs to start showing that power and produce on both sides of the ball.
Ryan Braun’s Thumb
Last season before his suspension, Ryan Braun battled a nagging thumb injury. This year he is already experiencing the same trouble just a week into the season. With a possible surgery lingering, there is no guarantee that things will get any better. This thumb appears to be something that will be an issue all season.
A healthy Braun is one of the top hitters in the league. Without him Logan Schafer is a reliable backup who plays stellar defense. The club also is loaded at the lower minor league levels with outfield depth. However, no one is ready to play at Braun’s MVP caliber form if he were to miss significant time.
Statistics Provided by Baseball Reference