Coming off a peculiar 2020 season, the Milwaukee Brewers are hoping for a better 2021 season. Craig Counsell‘s group of ballplayers finished last season with a 29-31 record, qualifying for 4th in the mess called the National League Central.
In a crowded, but competitive NL Central, the Brewers need to take a step forward rather than a step backward, like last season.
Before the short Spring Training in 2020, the Milwaukee Brewers dealt with some losses in terms of player personnel. Catcher Yasmani Grandal went to the Chicago White Sox in free agency. Infielders Travis Shaw and Mike Moustakas also departed during the offseason period.
The Brewers replaced Grandal with veteran Omar Narvaez, who they acquired from in a trade involving Adam Hill. To add to the starting rotation, the Brew Crew signed veteran southpaw Brett Anderson. Afterward, the team signed KBO MVP Josh Lindblom to a three-year contract.
The Brew Crew signed Christian Yelich to a nine-year/$250M contract extension before the Spring Training period along with signing Jedd Gyorko, Justin Smoak, and other veterans to one-year deals.
Skip to the end of July-mid August when baseball resumed after the world stopped turning. After losing two games to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, the Brew Crew reached .500 with two wins against the inner-division rival Pittsburgh Pirates.
Afterward the Pirates’ series, St. Louis Cardinals had a COVID-19 breakout, which held off the Brewers’ home opener at Miller Park for a few days. Not to mention, outfielder Lorenzo Cain opted-out around the same time.
Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, the Brewers underwhelmingly performed in the month of August, going 13-15 in 28 games. Keston Hiura, Christian Yelich, as well as other starters in the lineup regressed offensively during the 28 game period.
During the month of September, the Brew Crew cut Justin Smoak and Brock Holt, two veteran signings that excited Milwaukee fans.
Afterward, the Brewers traded for former Seattle Mariners first baseman Daniel Vogelbach. Leading up to his tenure with the Brewers, Vogelbach had an awful season. Vogelbach ended up being one of the bright spots on the Brew Crew offense, slugging four home runs with a .328 average in 19 games.
With the expanded playoff being tested during the funky season, the Milwaukee Brewers had an ultimate shot at trying to clinch a playoff birth.
With Vogelbach, Corbin Burnes, and Devin Williams having nice ends to the 2020 season, the Brewers slipped into the playoffs. Long story short, the Brew Crew lost to the would-be World Series-winning Los Angeles Dodgers.
If there were no expanded playoffs, the Brewers simply would not be talked about.
Offseason Additions & Subtractions
For the first time since 2006, veteran outfielder Ryan Braun will not be on the active roster nor is he on the team.
The Brewers bolstered their infield by signing former St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong. They also signed former Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to a two-year/$24M contract. The team gets back outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who opted-out in 2020.
Infielder Travis Shaw found his way back after a year with the Toronto Blue Jays.
With the offense bolstered in free agency and some of the young bucks coming alive, the Brewers have a chance to be at the top of the tower called the NL Central in 2021.
- Chicago Cubs
- Milwaukee Brewers
- St. Louis Cardinals
- Cincinnati Reds
- Pittsburgh Pirates