Milwaukee Brewers: An Uncharacteristically Slow Start for Christian Yelich

Several of the Milwaukee Brewers’ bats are struggling early on and surprisingly, Christian Yelich is in that group of players.

Since GM David Stearns made the trade for Christian Yelich and he joined the Milwaukee Brewers, he has been absolutely dominant. And I mean dominant.

In 2018 he won the NL batting title and league MVP behind a .326/.402/.598 slash line with an OPS+ of 164 – which also led the NL – and in 2019, he once again won the NL batting title with an average of .329 and may have won his second straight MVP if not for a late-season injury.

Very rarely have we seen Yelich struggle at the plate and if we have, it’s been very brief.

However, after an unusually off-performance during the Milwaukee Brewers’ Blue and Gold scrimmages, those struggles have unfortunately carried over to the first six games of the regular season.

After last night’s game in Pittsburgh, Yelich now has just one hit – albeit a home run – in 28 plate appearances with only one walk and 12 strikeouts. His batting average now sits at .037 for the season.

With the Brewers, Yelich has gotten off to a fast start in each of his first two seasons. In 2018 he posted a .342 average with a .971 OPS through the first 10 games. While in 2019, he logged a .361 average, a 1.378 OPS, along with five home runs during that same span.

Now, are there reasons to be concerned? Absolutely not. While Yelich appears lost at the plate at the moment, stretches like this happen to every player, even the best of them. This just happens to be one of the few times we’ve seen him struggle like this since joining the Milwaukee Brewers. So there can be a bit of shock when we see it taking place.

But let’s not forget that he is still Christian Yelich and that he will, of course, bounce-back.

The good news for Milwaukee is that even with Yelich coming up empty at the plate – not to mention that other players such as Omar Narvaez and Justin Smoak continue to struggle as well – the Brewers were able to salvage their six-game road trip and finish 3-3 behind an excellent start from Brandon Woodruff in the series finale against Pittsburgh.

Milwaukee will now head back to the hitter-friendly confines of Miller Park for a series with St. Louis. And with that, we hopefully see Yelich get back on track at his home ballpark where he has had so much success over the last two years.

Next: David Phelps Shines Early with Crew

Although it’s only a 60 game season and everything is magnified this year, we are only six games into it. So if you’re worried about Yeli’s performance at the plate up to this point, I wouldn’t be. He has gone through difficult stretches similar to this one in each season that he’s been in Milwaukee.

In the end, I imagine this start to the season will end up being a blip on the radar, just as the other tough stretches have been.

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