Milwaukee Brewers May Report Card

The Brewers seem to be ahead of schedule in their rebuild. What did they do well, and what can they improve? Find out below.

Hitting

The Brewers did a better job getting on base in May (.263 average and .337 on base percentage), but they did not hit as many home runs (29). The end result was that the Brewers scored the same amount of runs (135) that they did in April. They are still tied for second in the National League with 74 home runs, third with 258 RBI, fourth with a .444 slugging percentage, and tied for fourth with 270 runs.

The Brewers have 14 players that have hit at least one home run this year, and 10 that have had hit 4 or more. Eric Thames still leads the team, but he only hit 3 in May to bring his total to 14. Travis Shaw has 9 home runs and he leads the team with a .296 average and a team-leading 36 RBI.

Jesus Aguilar had a slow start, but found his groove in May. He hit .328 with 4 home runs and 12 RBI in the month in just 10 starts. His hot hitting has earned him more playing time and more plate appearances.

Domingo Santana also got hot in May, hitting .322 with 3 home runs and 17 RBI. He hit a grand slam in the Brewers’ 9-5 win over the Diamondbacks on May 28.

The Brewers are still striking out far too often. They cut it down to 243 this month, but the still have the most strikeouts in the National League. The Brewers did draw a few more walks and have drawn the sixth most walks in the league. Jonathan Villar cut down on his strikeouts from 37 to 28.

Grade: A-

The Brewers did not hit as many home runs this month, but they got on base more often and still scored runs. The Brewers are still striking out too often, which is their Achilles heel. If they can turn that around, especially with runners in scoring position, their potent offense can get even better.

Pitching

The Brewer pitching staff improved in the month of May. Their overall ERA was 3.92 for the month, bringing their ERA down to 4.17 for the season. The Brewer starters went 8-6 with a 4.14 ERA, but they are still not going deep into games. The bullpen had some issues, losing 6 games in May, but they also had 7 wins, 8 saves, and a 3.58 ERA.

Jimmy Nelson turned his season around in May. He went 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 5 starts. Nelson struck out 31 batters in 27.2 innings. Junior Guerra came back from his calf injury that he suffered on Opening Day and went 1-1 with a 1.84 ERA in 3 starts. Wily Peralta was sent to the bullpen to make room for Guerra.

Neftali Feliz pitched his way out of the closer’s role and Corey Knebel took over. Knebel has a strikeout in every appearance this year. He only gave up 1 earned run in 13 appearances in May while striking out 27.

Grade: B

The pithing improved in May. Many fans are still upset with the pitching staff, and they do have a lot to work on, but the fact is that they did well enough to finish the month with a 15-12 record. The starters need to start going deeper into games and the bullpen has had some rough finishes. But the fact is that the Brewer pitching staff did improve this month.

Fielding

The Brewers cut their errors down considerably in May, only committing 11 as opposed to the 24 in April. They turned 35 double plays in May, and have the second most double plays in the National League with 62. The Brewers had another 6 outfield assists and are tied for first in the Major Leagues with 11 on the season.

Grade: B

The defense has really stepped up their game. That has helped the Brewer pitching staff and it has shown up in the win column.

Overall

The Brewers were 7 games over .500 on May 19, but they finished May by losing 7 of their last 10 games. Even so, they are still in first place and a game and a half ahead of the Cardinals. The Brewers do need to shore up their pitching, but they have been hitting enough to make up for that. For a team that was expected to lose 100 games, they have been overachieving. The rebuild seems to be ahead of schedule and Brewer fans are dreaming of reaching the playoffs this season.

One thing the Brewers have done all season and continued to do in May was get on the board early. They have outscored their opponent 50-16 in the first inning this season, which definitely has helped them get the Ws.

Overall Grade: A-

7 thoughts on “Milwaukee Brewers May Report Card”

  1. I’ll take it, and I’ll take first place as well. The pitching is keeping us in games, and our batters, if a bit streaky, are coming through in the clutch for us, as Santana just did with his HR against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers late in the game tonight. Now we just gotta keep the relief corps in tact with Knebel in the closer role where he belongs; not sure about Peralta closing.

    1. The pitching staff is definitely the weak spot on this team. That will be addressed in the next step of the rebuild. Next year’s team is going to be a force to be reckoned with.

  2. No, the pitching staff is definitely NOT the “week” spot of the team. I think DJ was thinking about last years’ team. He needs to look at the Brewers’ ranking as a pitching staff in the NL, fourth in ERA last time I checked, virtually tied with the Cubs. No, the pitching staff has been a welcome asset so far this year, with the occasional blip such as the granny Corey Knable gave up last weekend, but that’s baseball and he rebounded beautifully this week.

    1. The pitching staff has started to improve, but the starters were having a hard time getting out of the 5th inning, and the bullpen was getting overworked. The Brewer bullpen is among the Major League leaders in most losses and innings pitched. They did have a pretty good scoreless streak in May, but that has been offset by some of their performances since then. Also, their ERA is 7th in the National League and 9th in FIP right now. Jimmy Nelson and Chase Anderson have really stepped up in their recent starts, and I hope that continues. But all in all, this pitching staff is mediocre.

      The Brewers are in the top 5 in the National League in runs scored, home runs, stolen bases, OPS, and walks. I believe that is the strength of this team right now. The pitching is doing an OK job overall, and that is what has us in first place right now.

      1. The starting pitching has been more than adequate. The fact that they don’t get much further than the fifth or sixth inning is basically by design. They aren’t allowed to go further. They have pitch counts, etc. So you can’t base their effectiveness on how far into a game they go. If you want to find a weak spot, look at the bullpen, if you’re looking at the pitching staff overall. That’s where we need help, and hopefully Hader will make a difference. Time to let go of Feliz and Carlos Torres. Both have been utterly dismal. As far as the offense goes, our run differential was really good for awhile, but we’ve really slumped during the first two weeks of June. Thankfully the rest of the division hasn’t been up to snuff. But if we can’t beat the Cardinals in this upcoming series, that’s going to tell you a lot about how we fit into this division, esp. with their current record.

        1. The reason the starting pitchers are not going deep is due to not being able to throw strikes. They are at about league average for pitches per start, but have the 4th fewest innings per start in the league. That has a lot to do with their walks.

          The bullpen has had issues, but it’s not as bad as it seems. It sure feels like they have blown the game for the starters a lot, after all, they lead the league in bullpen losses. However, only 6 of those losses came when the starting pitcher was in line for the win. As for Carlos Torres, from May 1 to June 2 he gave up just 3 runs in 15 appearances, good for a 1.93 ERA. The rest of June has been horrible, but considering what he did for us last season, I think we can let him finish the season and show us what he can do.

          I stand by my comment that the pitching staff is the weak spot on the team. As you mentioned, the bullpen is the weak spot on the pitching staff. I think that we will target a starting pitcher or 2 in the off season and also do something to shore up the bullpen. Now, saying that the pitching staff is the weak spot is by no means saying that they are bad. Far from it. The Brewers are in first place, and that’s hard to do with a bad pitching staff. I just think that as a whole, the pitching will see more improvement than the hitting in the coming years.

          It’s exciting seeing Hader, and now Woodruff, come up and get some time in the Major Leagues. They are 2 pitchers that figure to play huge roles in the rotation.

          This Cardinal series is going to tell us a lot about the team. First of all, it’s a divisional series, and it’s always important to win those games. But more importantly, the Cardinals are a thorn in the Brewers’ side. The Cardinals are not as bad as their record shows, and they seem to play better against the Brewers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *