The 2021 season has not been going too well for Jackie Bradley Jr. at the plate. Bradley Jr. is in his first season with the Milwaukee Brewers and is batting a career-low .154 through 59 games.
Yes, you read that batting average right. In his last four games, he is 1-for-13.
This is something the Brewers did not see coming when they signed him in early March. The speedy outfielder came off an impressive COVID season in which he batted .283 through 55 games with 54 hits, seven home runs, and 22 RBI.
Despite his struggles at the plate, the Brewers are not giving up on Bradley Jr. whose stick was flaming in April. He had an eight-game hitting streak and had a hit in 11 of 12 games.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell recently talked about Bradley Jr.’s struggles at the plate, but he still has faith in the one-time All-Star.
“Jackie’s struggled offensively and he hasn’t been able to get out of it. I still think he’s helping us win because I still think he’s playing defense and playing a plus defense,” Counsell told MLB.com.
“We’ve seen it the last two weeks of playing against other teams, the differences a center fielder makes. Those are doubles and triples and runs, essentially, on plays that he makes. We’re also in a situation where, at this point, Jackie’s the best option.”
So even though his bat hasn’t come along recently, Bradley Jr. still is a valuable asset to the Brewers. Our MLBbro knows how to control the outfield and his defense is a plus to his overall game.
A positive thing to look at is Bradley Jr. is not letting his performance at the plate affect his overall game. It’s evident that Bradley Jr. has been in a slump and Counsell is certainly aware of that.
“But he’s struggling. He’s struggling offensively and we do need to be better offensively,” Counsell said. “He’s frustrated, there’s no question about it.
“He’s better than this, there’s no question about that. But we just haven’t been able to help him get going, and that’s frustrating on our end.”
No one enjoys a slump and for Bradley Jr., he will have to put the extra time in to get on the right side of the hitting spectrum. But the good thing is that his manager and team believe in him and that he can turn things around.
This brother is a good player and has had success in the league throughout his career.
As the season progresses, Bradley Jr. will continue to get opportunities to end his slump at the plate. When he’s seeing the ball well, Bradley Jr. is a problem at the plate. With his power and speed, he can be a nightmare to opposing pitchers and teams.
These next few months will be important for Bradley Jr. The Brewers know the potential he has at the plate and they will stay patient to see if the former Gold Glove winner can make an impact with his bat, too
Once a party starter for the Royals, Dyson has been a valuable asset off the bench this season. The 36-year-old still can be productive on the field and at the plate and the Royals have certainly seen that this season.
One thing about Dyson is that whether he’s coming off the bench or starting, he will leave it all out on the field.
This season Dyson has appeared in 34 games and is batting .277 with 13 hits and seven runs scored. He’s not a power hitter, but he knows how to get on base and make things happen.
He also etched himself in the Royals record books. On May 20, 2021, he stole his 179th base as a Royal which put him past Frank White for fifth all-time.
Dyson may not play in as many games as he did earlier in his career but when his number is called, he makes sure he’s ready.
He had a really good ending to May, going 2-for-4 against the Minnesota Twins.
In a recent game, on June 12, he had a solid performance at the plate going 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base against the Oakland Athletics.
Dyson has been around the game for a while as he’s currently in his 12th year. He’s in his second stint with the Royals and can provide a lot of knowledge and experience to the younger players.
Dyson won his first and only World Series title with the Royals back in 2015. He played an important role on that team and he’s still playing an important role now.
With an injury to Andrew Benintendi, Dyson could see a lot more action on the field going forward.
Dyson has played with five different teams while spending most of his career with the Royals.
During the 2016 season, he had one of his best seasons statistically. He finished the season with a .278 batting average with 83 hits, 25 RBI, and 30 stolen bases.
This brother has put up impressive numbers numerous times throughout his career and even though he’s in his mid-30s, any team would benefit from having him in the lineup. He’s that teammate you would love to play with. The energy he displays is contagious, and he impacts whether he’s in the lineup or on the bench.
As the season progresses, look for the Royals to find more ways to utilize Dyson more.
At the end of the day, the MLBbro vet still has game.
When it comes to making a good first impression, Chicago White Sox outfielder Brian Goodwin does that well.
The 30-year-old gave White Sox fans a treat in his debut on June 12. The White Sox bats came alive that day against the Detroit Tigers in a 15-2 win and Goodwin, a six-year veteran, made sure to join in on the fun.
He went 2-for-5 at the plate, hitting his first home run of the season and had five RBI. Goodwin became the 38th White Sox player to hit a home run in their debut.
“It felt good, first game, give the fans and teammates something to see,” Goodwin told the Chicago Sun-Times after his performance.
That is the production Goodwin needed to have the opportunity to make an impact for a team who has a chance to play for a World Series title this season. This surging White Sox team will benefit from having a player like Goodwin, who can be productive at the plate and in the field.
The start of the 2021 season has been a rollercoaster for Goodwin. He signed a minor league contract in February with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Our MLBbro received an invite to spring training in hopes of making the Opening Day roster. The talent-strapped Pirates decided to release Goodwin on May 3rd. At that time the veteran outfielder wondered when he would next play baseball.
But, that didn’t last too long. A day later, he signed a minor-league contract with the White Sox and now he’s back in the majors.
“I wasn’t too happy about it, but it helped me keep that chip on my shoulder,” Goodwin said. “Signed here in May, and I’m still [ticked] off. I’m going to take it out on everybody else with how I play.”
After spending time in Triple-A Charlotte, Goodwin got the call up after Nick Madrigal went on the 60-day Injured List.
Before joining the White Sox, Goodwin played with four other MLB teams. His last stint in the league was in 2020 with the LA Angels and Cincinnati Reds. During the COVID shortened season he appeared in 30 games with the Angels and batted .242 with 17 RBI. The Angels traded him to the Reds and he finished the season playing in 20 games and batted .163.
Goodwin started his career with the Washington Nationals, who drafted him in 2011 out of the University of North Carolina.
He made his debut with the Nationals in 2016, appearing in 22 games and finished with an impressive .286 batting average. The next season, Goodwin appeared in 74 games, finishing with a .251 average. This brother quickly made an impact in his first few years.
In 2018 he spent the first half of the season with the Nationals and was then traded to the Kansas City Royals. The Royals released Goodwin in March of 2019 and he was picked up by the Angels, where he had a career season.
So as you can see, Goodwin has bounced around during his time in the Majors. He has a career .250 batting average and he’ll continue to look to make an impact while he’s on the field.
Chris Archer is nearing a return after being sidelined for almost three months.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported that Archer is “feeling good and is eyeing an early July return from the injured list.”
This is a sign the Rays certainly wanted to see from Archer. Having another healthy and potentially lethal arm in an already-solid pitching rotation can be a huge benefit.
The Rays have had a lot of success without Archer, establishing themselves as the top team in the AL East. So where will the former All-Star fit in when he makes his return?
On the season, he is 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA.
Before his injury, Archer made just two appearances. His first was out of the bullpen and his second appearance was a start.
In his lone start of the season against the New York Yankees, he had a solid outing. The MLBbro threw 2.1 innings, striking out four and giving up no runs before leaving the game because of the injury.
“I thought it was just something that kind of comes and goes, because things come and go as you start,” Archer told the Tampa Bay Times regarding the injury. “But it lingered, and I found myself altering how I was throwing a little and it just wasn’t worth it.”
“Fortunately, it’s nothing serious. But there’s definitely some tightness in there that I need to get out. So I’m glad that we took the precautions that we did. And I’m really glad the bullpen stepped up.”
The two-time All-Star can make an immediate impact once he returns and silence all the critics that think he doesn’t have anything left in the tank. Even though his numbers have not been up to par the past few seasons, he can still go out there and get the job done on the mound.
Especially playing for a team that can make it back to the World Series. They will need all the pitching they can get.
If he can continue to build off his last performance, there’s no question he will add value to the rotation.
The Rays will find the right spot for Archer once he returns and they’ll keep a close eye on him as the time approaches to formulate a playoff roster.
Going into the 2021 season, the 32-year-old was ready to contribute to a team that was coming off its first World Series appearances since 2008.
Archer’s best season came in 2015 when he made his first all-star team and finished the season with a 12-13 record with a 3.23 ERA.
He made 34 starts that season and finished with 252 strikeouts, the most he’s had in a season.
Even though his career has been a roller coaster ride, he’s still in a position to help his team go deep into the playoffs if used correctly.
Once he makes his return, Archer will be an MLBbro you want to keep tabs on.
“I made the catch, felt the ‘hammy’ grab,” he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Once I went to go throw it to first (base), it kind of went a little more. I felt the pull a little more. That’s just where we’re at right now.”
“Very frustrated that it happened, especially when we were playing well, and I was actually starting to feel really well myself at the time. It’s unfortunate, but back to the drawing board.”
Cain will return no sooner than the start of July, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Manager Craig Counsell described Cain’s hamstring strain as “a significant injury.”
If you’re looking for a silver lining to a frustrating situation, with Cain out, MLBbro Jackie Bradley and 27-year-old rookie Tyrone Taylor will be tasked with filling in at center field. Bradley is trying to revive his bat and eventually assume a starting center field position somewhere. Taylor is playing in his first MLB season after a 10-year minor league journey, so he’s hungry and looking to prove he should stick around.
Before the injury, Cain was starting to turn things around at the plate. In his last two games before going on the IL, he had four hits in five at-bats.
These nagging injuries date back to spring training. The 35-year-old went into the season dealing with an injury and in mid-April, he injured his right quadriceps and was placed on the IL for two and a half weeks. It seemed as if nothing was going right for him.
One part of Cain’s game that has contributed to his success is the use of his legs. In the field, he has the ability to run down fly balls.
In 2019, he won a Gold Glove Award in center field.
A healthy Cain is a player you want on your team. In addition to his leadership and World Series pedigree, he can smoke the ball too.
In his first season with the Brewers, he made the All-Star team and finished the season with a .308 batting average, hitting 10 home runs and 38 RBI.
Before joining the Brewers in 2018, Cain spent most of his career with the Kansas City Royals. During his time there, he established himself as one of the top outfielders in the game. In 2015 he arguably had the best season statistically of his career. He finished that season batting .307, hitting 16 home runs with 72 RBI. Cain also made his first All-Star appearance that season, too.
So you see a healthy Cain can be beneficial to the Brewers. Even though he’s in his mid-30s, he can still contribute on the field and at the plate.
For Cain, it’s all about getting healthy so he can return to the team in full strength.
“I know what I need to do to get back on the field. I’ve just got to go in there and get it done, allow this thing to heal up,” Cain said. “Hopefully it heals pretty quickly, but who knows with hamstrings? I’ve definitely had my fair share of them in the past. Just trying to get it healed as quickly as possible and I’ll be raring to go when it’s ready.”
Injuries are part of the game and this season Cain has just caught the short end of the stick. If he can return to 100 percent, he will be a valuable addition to a Brewers squad that’s fighting tooth and nail with the Cubs for sole possession of first place in the NL Central.