Last season, optimism was high for the Milwaukee Brewers heading into 2019. Fresh off an appearance in the National League Championship Series a year prior, the Brewers were striving for a World Series title.
While they didn’t accomplish this feat, the season wasn’t a total washout, as the Brewers still won over 80 plus games for a third-consecutive season and made an appearance in the National League Wild Card game. Now, once again, they have set high expectations for themselves heading into the 2020 season.
ICYMI: The boys are back. #ThisIsMyCrew pic.twitter.com/U4stoS8PzK
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) February 12, 2020
Yelich Makes His Return
With just under a month remaining in the 2019 season, and Milwaukee in a down-to-the-wire race for the National League Central title, tragedy struck when the Brewers star right fielder Christian Yelich took a foul ball off his right knee back in early September against the Miami Marlins.
Yelich, who was having another MVP caliber season, went on to be diagnosed with a fractured knee cap and missed the remainder of the season. This was costly for Milwaukee, as it tried to navigate the rest of the way without arguably one of its best players.
Now, with the start of Spring Training looming, Yelich is eager to get back on the field with his teammates. Brewers’ manager Craig Counsell said he and the team doctors are confident that Yelich should heal up fine and be ready to go for the season.
Counsell said Yelich is with the team at camp, but will not do any live game action for roughly a week out of precaution.
Having Yelich back will help provide a boost to a Milwaukee lineup that adds a handful of new faces heading into the new season.
The Brewers added a multitude of veteran players to their roster over the offseason. Some of the more common names that baseball fans may know are outfielder Avisail Garcia; pitchers Brett Anderson, Eric Lauer and Josh Lindblom; and infielder/outfielder Brock Holt.
INF/OF Brock Holt has been signed to a 1-year contract with a club option for 2021. pic.twitter.com/FoztwXOJco
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) February 19, 2020
According to an article on the MLB website by Adam McCalvy, with the addition of Garcia, who spent the 2019 season with the Tampa Bay Rays, Milwaukee will now need to shuffle some players around in the outfield to maximize the talents of Garcia.
Yelich will now shift from playing right to the left-field come the start of the season, while Ryan Braun and newcomer Garcia will split time in the right field. There is also a possibility of Garcia seeing time out in center field and Braun moving to first base. Counsell said this would be done to ensure that everyone gets the appropriate amount of at-bats.
While this is Counsell’s plan as of now, he said nothing is certain, according to the article.
The Brewers will get a first glance at how this new roster will look on Saturday when they kick off Spring Training action against the Texas Rangers at 3:05 p.m. With Yelich fully recovered from his devasting knee injury and the addition of a handful of elite veterans, Milwaukee will likely once again find itself contending for the postseason come fall.