It has been a miserable start to the season for the Milwaukee Brewers as they own the MLB’s worst record at 2-10 after losing 5-2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday. The pitching certainly hasn’t been good at all for Milwaukee, but that is really the least of their problems right now as the Brewers are struggling to score runs. I think the main problem is that they have been lacking production out of two of their best offensive players from last year with Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun. Lucroy has played in 11 games so far this season and he is only hitting .167 with 2 RBI’s. Those are not the kind of numbers that you would expect out of a guy that is hitting at the top of the lineup. Meanwhile, Ryan Braun we consider to be one of the best power hitters in the MLB today, but he has yet to hit a home run this season and he is only .237 in the middle of the lineup for Milwaukee. The problem is that Braun has struggled to make contact and he is striking out way too much, but he needs to start hitting the ball better if Milwaukee wants to get out of this major offensive slump. Jean Segura has been the best hitter for the Brewers so far with a .318 average and 1 home run, but he can’t be relied upon to consistently drive in runs. Carlos Gomez got off to a good start for Milwaukee with 6 RBI’s, although he is currently on the 15-day DL. The most concerning thing is that the team has only hit 3 home runs in the first 12 games and that is what the Brewers offense lived off of last season. Overall, Milwaukee needs Lucroy and Braun the most to step up and deliver the power hitting that they did last season, although it will be difficult for the Brewers to dig themselves out of the early 2-10 record.
There was a lot of buzz about outfielder Steven Souza when he was coming up in the Washington Nationals farm system. However, his time has finally come to make an impact at the major league level and he will have to do so with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2015. The Rays basically traded away their entire offense this offseason by dealing Wil Myers, Yunel Escobar, Matt Joyce, and Ben Zobrist. The problem for Tampa Bay is that they didn’t get any proven MLB players in those trades and they didn’t even receive any top prospects either. Tampa Bay’s lineup was terrible last season and I have no reason to believe that it will be any better this season because they lost so many pieces on offense and they didn’t replace those guys. Sure, the Rays still have Evan Longoria to lead their team and he is one of the best players at his position in the MLB. However, they have no protection for him as James Loney is going to presumably be the cleanup hitter for the Rays in 2015. The big question mark for Tampa Bay will be if Steven Souza can live up to the expectations that he had when he was in the minor leagues. Souza has the power to be a very good hitter in the MLB and his defense should come along as he gets adjusted to the right field position, but he has to make an immediate impact for Tampa Bay this season. He certainly didn’t look that impressive in 23 at bats for Washington last season, although he should hit better once he gets accustomed to major league pitching. Souza was the main reason that the Rays were able to trade Wil Myers to San Diego this offseason and if Souza can’t hit well in 2015 then it will certainly be a rough season for Tampa Bay.