August 2nd is the MLB trade deadline, and with it fast approaching, teams are looking to make deals to solidify their second half playoff push, or retool for future seasons. The Milwaukee Brewers find themselves in the playoff hunt with a lead of 3.5 games in the NL Central, meaning they will likely look to add contributors for their second half push. Realistically, there are not too many true offensive needs which must be addressed, though there is room for improvement.
The one clear need is in the outfield, where center field has been a black hole at the plate for much of the season. It has appeared, in stretches, that Tyrone Taylor may be the guy to fill this void, but has been unable to sustain his success. Unfortunately, centerfielders who can add offense are difficult to find in this trade market.
Less rare, and maybe just as important, would be a batter who hits lefties. This was meant to be fixed with the signing of Andrew McCutchen in the offseason, who has feasted on southpaws over his career. But he has diverged from career norms, as he has hit right-handed pitchers better for just the third time in his fourteen year career.
Not only has McCutchen faltered against southpaws, so have the Crew cumulatively. As you can see in the graph above, while the Brewers are among elite teams in their performance versus right-handed pitching, they're well below average versus lefties. In fact, there is only one winning team who hits left-handers worse, and the Brewers are the worst of any division leader.
There has also been quite a bit of interest on the fan side to acquire another first baseman, specifically one who fills the need of a lefty killer. This is not a position I think the Brewers require improvement most within the infield, as there are other areas which could be upgraded to a larger degree.
Another supplementary option in the infield would be possible, especially with struggles by Kolten Wong all year, and some stumbles by Luis Urias and Willy Adames. Realistically, the return of Jace Peterson could help this, and a platoon containing Mike Brosseau (who also leads the team in OPS against left-handed pitching). So this isn’t a key need, especially compared to centerfield.
In conclusion, a centerfielder is most needed positionally, but a bat which excels against left-handed pitchers is a need as well. This bat could be at centerfield, or any position within the infield.
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