Brewers: 2 overreactions to impressive start to 2023 season

The Milwaukee Brewers surprised many fans by getting off to a nice start to the 2023 MLB season. When taking a closer look, though, the reason for that joy seemed to stem primarily from a belief that this franchise was no longer competent. Faith was lost in one of the more sneaky consistent teams in the National league. And now, that consternation is beginning to creep back in.

Thus, the 20-16 Brew Crew are in a weird spot where early success is intersecting with dysfunction and offensive inconsistencies. Crossing that road is an adventure, to say the least. The team remains unscathed for now, though, just a half game behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for first place in the NL Central.

With the former favorites to take the division, the hapless St. Louis Cardinals, dwelling in the doldrums of baseball, Milwaukee fans probably have a new lease on life. As mentioned above, however, their optimism is suppressing the underlying feelings of distress that still exists deep inside their gut.

And one cannot ignore their gut. The Brewers have put on an entertaining show through the first week of May. They deserve credit, but this franchise looks like a trapeze artist who is pushing through on a bad foot. They might amaze you for a while but it just takes one misstep for everything to go wrong.

After last season’s disappointing finish, fans will be bracing themselves for a rough landing. Even so, there are bound to be overreactions when a team surpasses expectations.

Here are three overreactions to the Brewers’ impressive start to the 2023 MLB season.

1. Brewers’ offense is much improved

Milwaukee is not blowing anyone away at 20-16, but a winning record in the turbulent National League Central is encouraging to see. That is why the Brewers winning their division cannot be considered an overreaction. They deserve to be the favorites given the current landscape. That being said, there are still holes on the roster that may be getting overlooked.

Look no further than the lineup. Fans are still waiting for Christian Yelich to revert to his MVP ways or at least his big-league power. Yelich is on pace to surpass his recent home run totals with four but is hitting just .244 right now. Although the flashes have been there, manager Craig Counsell needs the 31-year-old to be closer to his old self.


Christian Yelich has done it for the 3rd time in his career!

(via @mlb)

— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) May 11, 2022

The rookies are a big reason why there is more optimism surrounding their bats. Joey Weimer and Brice Turang have provided fans with glimpses of excitement, but they are not quite ready for Major League pitching. Time will tell if the NL Central is weak enough to withstand these growing pains. Jesse Winker has not been a successful reformation project through a month-plus of games, either (.274 slugging percentage).

Pitching will again have to rule the day in Milwaukee. But can that even be counted on?

2. Brewers starting pitching remains top-notch

I realize by including the pitching, I am essentially saying fans should temper their expectations for two major components of this club. That just might be the harsh reality fans have to face, which, again, may be diminished by their quality of competition.

The problems are there, though. Corbin Burnes has not been himself. His 3.86 ERA is by no means horrid, but the eye test is really working against him this season. He has lost the supreme command he worked so hard to perfect, walking 14 batters in 39.2 innings. Velocity is also down. Rounding this ominous triumvirate is a change in mechanics, which Ben Clemens of FanGraphs so astutely points out.

If that was not enough to bring out your inner Chicken Little, then how about the fact he admitted to being “hurt” by the Brewers after both sides were unable to reach a long-term contract extension. The organization instead opted for arbitration, which means Burnes could be a hot commodity at the trade deadline. Disgruntled and potentially declining, Milwaukee may be forced to deal away another star pitcher, who could then be a postseason hero for another team. The skies above American Family Field would darken in a hurry.

The woes extend beyond the 2021 NL Cy Young, however. Brandon Woodruff remains sidelined with a shoulder injury, which is always tricky. His consistency is invaluable to the staff. Without him, the Brewers’ rotation does not look nearly as deep or formidable. Freddy Peralta and Wade Miley are propping it up, to the point where the team ranks eighth in the MLB with a 3.58 ERA. But their arsenal is not terrifying like it was in the past.

Fans should still relish in Milwaukee’s current standing. This franchise is again putting out a competitive product without spending much money.

You just don’t have to be overly worried about keeping the late-October section in your appointment book free.

The post Brewers: 2 overreactions to impressive start to 2023 season appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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