In the past couple of years, the outfield of the Milwaukee Brewers have been plus .300 hitters. This spring, with the exception of young Logan Schafer (.440), they are not. Take a look at the group through Sunday, March 18th. Braun is hitting .067; Morgan .185; Aoki .194; Gomez .207 and Hart (on the DL).
OK. The weather is crummy down here today. The first rain of the year postponed the Brewers v Rangers after 3 1/2 innings with the Crew leading 6-4. And the forecast calls for more rain and cold temperatures on Monday.
Everyone of the hitless outfielders has a problem. Braun is clearly upset with the continual talk about his off-season problems and the lack of player support for his cause around the league. If you watched the game on Saturday with the Angels, you couldn’t go an inning without the Halo announcers bringing up the Braun situation. He is not focused yet.
Aoki can’t seem to get the ball out of the infield and his big attribute, defense, was lacking Saturday when he came in on a fly ball with perfect momentum and couldn’t get the runner at the plate. Gomez, with all of his potential, is a mystery. Look at the guy. He looks fantastic. He runs like the wind and makes circus catches all over the place. He just can’t hit. Morgan? He’s still playing T-Plushness without the plushness. He hasn’t gotten hot yet.
Granted, all of them have been in and out of the lineup for the first two weeks. Lack of constant playing breeds ups and downs. But if they don’t watch out, you might just see an outfield of Braun in left field, Schafer in center field and Caleb Gindl (hitting .280) in right.
One more thing that is upsetting to the person who goes out to the ballpark to see the regulars play: there is an unusual amount of split squad games this Spring. And it’s not just the Brewers who are split squading all over the place. Yesterday, the Dodgers played against the Rockies in the afternoon at Salt River Flats in Scottsdale and in the evening, they played at home at Camelback Ranch against the Giants in an MLB televised game. If you wanted to see the regulars play, where would you go?
The reason why this split squad thing is upsetting is the lack of consistency this breeds for a team. Without the big stick this season holding the fort together by his shear size and strength, the Crew has rarely had the starting nine on the field together at one time to begin to jell as a Championship unit. Remember this is the team that won the Central Division of the National League last season.
Let’s send the kids to the minor league camp. You’ve done all you can to give them that taste of ‘The Show’ and that MLB per diem. Now is the time to get to work and start playing together. In case you have forgotten, we are just a couple of weeks away from the season opener.