The Milwaukee Brewers are off to one of the hottest starts in baseball, and everything has been clicking. Only recently have some defensive issues and increase in runners left on base presented a challenge for the Brewers. Those mistakes and missed opportunities have not burned Milwaukee thus far, as the rest of the team’s play has exceeded expectations.
If I were to boil down the most pressing weakness for the Milwaukee Brewers, I would first narrow it down to two position players: shortstop Jean Segura and left fielder Khris Davis. Both have struggled offensively out of the gate, with Segura falling to eighth in the batting order after starting the season in the second spot. Granted, both guys delivered at the plate last night with a home run apiece, but they are still the weakest links on the team thus far. The player I’m most concerned about though, has got to be Davis.
Allow me to start with addressing why Segura is not the weakest part of the team right now. Yes, he has the skill set to be performing much better than he has thus far. Milwaukee fans know what this kid is capable of. I am confident that Segura will find his stroke, and perhaps last night’s three run blast will spur a revival of his offensive production. Even if it takes a while, though, Scooter Gennett is tearing it up and is easily filling in for him at the top of the order.
Khris Davis, however, is in a spot of the lineup that I think is very undervalued. To be successful, plenty of people would say you need a solid three, four, and five hitter who can get on base and drive in runs. At six, though, you need to be able to spark a rally at the bottom of the order by getting base hits, but you also have to be a power threat so opposing pitchers don’t work around the middle of the order to get to you. Unfortunately, Davis has already been selected by opposing teams as someone they can go after and get an out.
I recall an instance last weekend in Pittsburgh where Jonathan Lucroy was intentionally put on base with a runner already in scoring position, and Davis promptly popped out to end the threat. That simply cannot happen as the season continues, and Davis needs to establish himself as a credible threat and fast. Again, like Segura, his home run last night is a step in the right direction, but he needs to show even more.
The Brewers traded Nori Aoki and moved Ryan Bruan to right field for a reason: to open things up for Davis. As such, the Brewers would not go elsewhere to find a more productive left fielder. Davis just needs to find a rhythm at the plate, because when he is locked in, as he was late last year, the results are very encouraging.
So while Davis has struggled and emerged as the weak link in the Milwaukee Brewers thus far, the Brewers don’t have to replace him. He will improve with time and swings until he finds his groove.