Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich has been struggling at the plate, hitting just .222 with a .299 OBP and a .735 OPS in June. He’s also striking out more than he ever has before, leading to speculation that his struggles are due to an injury or mental block of some sort.
The Milwaukee Brewers are seeking answers for Christian Yelich’s hitting struggles. They have been struggling to score runs, and the team is looking to figure out what has caused this slump.
MILWAUKEE, Wis. — Nobody has been able to figure out the reason of Christian Yelich’s recent hitting problems, according to Brewers head of baseball operations David Stearns.
“I believe if we did, if Christian understood precisely what occurred, it would be simpler to fix,” Stearns said during the Brewers’ season-ending press conference on Friday. “It’s definitely a source of frustration for Christian.”
As the Brewers pursue their first World Series championship, getting Yelich back on track is a top goal this summer. Each of the following seven seasons, Yelich will earn $26 million, with $4 million deferred each year.
Yelich won the 2018 National League MVP award and was runner-up in the 2019 MVP voting during his first two seasons in Milwaukee, leading the NL in hitting average and OPS each year, but he hasn’t been able to match that level of performance since.
In 117 games this season, he batted.248 with nine home runs and 51 RBIs, and he struck out swinging with the tying run on first base to finish the Brewers’ NL Division Series defeat to the Atlanta Braves.
After Game 4, Yelich stated, “I have to be better.” “I came up short in a number of key situations during the year and in the playoffs. That’s the way it works. It’s all part of the fun. All you have to do now is take it all in, get back up, and keep going.”
Despite spending almost a month on the disabled list early in the season with a lower back strain and subsequently testing positive for COVID-19, Stearns claimed the 29-year-old outfielder didn’t have any physical restrictions down the stretch.
This was Yelich’s second consecutive season of disappointment. Despite the fact that many great players suffered during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, he hit.205 with 12 homers and 22 RBIs in 58 games.
“We must do all we can to assist Christian in getting back to where we were in 2018 and 2019,” Stearns added. “I don’t believe it’s possible to maintain that level of output. Those were two MVP-worthy seasons. But he was obviously wrong this year, and he was wrong last year as well. There may have been various reasons why we couldn’t get it going in each of those two years, but it should be a top priority for the company.”
This season, Yelich hit more ground balls than he has in the previous, resulting in a career-low.373 slugging percentage. Last year, his slugging percentage was.430,.671 in 2019, and.598 in 2018.
As demonstrated by his 70 walks and.362 on-base percentage this season, he still has excellent plate discipline.
Stearns remarked, “There are still a lot of very good foundations here.” “He’s hitting the ball hard enough to be considered a power hitter. As a result, I don’t believe the power has necessarily vanished. Getting the ball in the air on a regular basis has clearly deteriorated, and I believe Christian is well aware of this and willing to improve on it.”
Without Yelich, the Brewers finished 12th out of 30 big league clubs in scoring this season. Milwaukee won the NL Central with a 95-67 record, due in large part to a starting rotation that included All-Star right-handers Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta.
Milwaukee has made the playoffs four times in a row, but hasn’t made it to the World Series since 1982.
“Despite Christian’s difficulties this season, he aided and contributed to a 95-win club,” Stearns said. “That’s something I believe you should be aware of. Christian Yelich is not responsible for the Milwaukee Brewers’ destiny. It isn’t focused only on one individual. We’re all in on it, everyone in the organization is in on it, and we’re all taking responsibility for it.”
Notes about the game Infielder Keston Hiura will have “loose bodies” removed from his throwing elbow, according to Stearns. Stearns said that this playoff defeat was more painful than others. “And that isn’t always a negative thing,” Stearns said. “It implies that we had really high hopes for this year. It implies we felt we had a fantastic group of people. We have a fantastic squad on our hands.”