The Milwaukee Brewers are still looking for their first World Series title in franchise history.
The club has made the playoffs in four straight seasons, but it’s struggling to get over the hump.
In the 2021 campaign, Milwaukee won 95 games — its third-highest mark this century — but any hopes of a World Series title came to an end in the NLDS.
In order for the 2022 season to be different, the Brewers need to change some things.
Here are two of those things.
2. Lineup Needs To Be Upgraded
The Brewers’ offensive production has been very mediocre in recent years.
Since 2018, the team hasn’t finished any higher than 15th in the majors in runs per game.
Obviously, there’s room for improvement in that department.
Milwaukee did make one big splash before the lockout.
That’s certainly going to provide the Brewers with an offensive boost going forward, as they’re replacing a below-average bat in Bradley (OPS+ of 34 in 2021) with a really solid power hitter in Renfroe (112 OPS+, 31 home runs in 2021).
— The Pesky Report (Red Sox Podcast) (@PeskyReport) August 25, 2021
But even though that’s a step in the right direction, Milwaukee has more work to do when it comes to its lineup.
First base is one area of concern.
The Brewers do have some internal options for players who could man the position in 2022, but addressing the area with a player who’s already on the roster wouldn’t really make sense if the goal is to drastically add some production to the lineup.
If Milwaukee opts to explore the free-agent market for first basemen, there are some interesting options.
It remains to be seen what Kyle Schwarber‘s price tag is going to be, but if it’s within the Brewers’ budget, he’d be a fantastic addition.
Schwarber played some first base for the Red Sox in 2021.
He added plenty of value at the plate, maintaining a .928 OPS and 148 OPS+ over 113 total games in the 2021 campaign (including his time with the Washington Nationals).
KYLE SCHWARBER TIES IT WITH A THREE RUN BOMB
— Kev (@OnePursuitTakes) June 23, 2021
Brad Miller is another intriguing option.
He’s a versatile infielder with plenty of experience at first base.
He played for the Brewers briefly in 2018.
The 32-year-old has an OPS of .812 and OPS+ of 115 since the beginning of the 2019 season, and over that span, he’s averaging 24 home runs per 162 games.
He might be worth rolling the dice on again.
1. Brewers Need To Get Christian Yelich Back To His MVP-Level Self
It’s no secret that Christian Yelich hasn’t looked like his best self in reason seasons.
That’s a fitting way for Christian Yelich’s surprisingly awful season to end — with the former MVP looking at Strike 3.
Congrats to the Braves. Making the NLCS after losing Ronald Acuna is a nice achievement.pic.twitter.com/BzKyDA02QR
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) October 13, 2021
In the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, the two-time All-Star registered a bWAR of just 0.5 over 58 games, and in 2021, he posted a bWAR of just 1.2 over 117 games.
In total, that’s a lowly bWAR of 1.7 over his last 175 games.
Also, since the start of the 2020 season, he has an OPS of .752.
That’s pretty hard to comprehend when you consider the fact that he maintained an OPS of 1.046 over a two-year span from 2018 to 2019.
Yelich just turned 30 years old, so he should still have plenty of gas left in the tank.
The former MVP has to find a way to live up to his massive contract and provide the Brewers with the elite production they need.
It’ll be tough to call Milwaukee a World Series contender if Yelich can’t find a way to produce at a high level again.