In spring training, Brewers’ Yelich picking up where he left off
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Christian Yelich, Brewers outfielder (↑ UP)
We're not saying Yelich is already in MVP form, but through Tuesday's games he was batting .455 with an .848 slugging percentage, thanks to four doubles and three home runs, in 33 spring at-bats. Can we start the season already?
Brandon Woodruff, Brewers pitcher (↑ UP)
We're probably jinxing him since Woodruff is pitching Wednesday against the Padres, but last time out he pitched five scoreless innings, allowing two hits with no walks while striking out seven. Entering Wednesday's contest he had het to allow a run in nine innings in spring training, with just three hits given up and 12 whiffs. With spots in the rotation open, Woodruff certainly is making a good case for himself.
USA TODAY SportsJoe Camporeale
The rest of the Brewers starting rotation (↓ DOWN)
While there's always the caution to not read too much into spring training stats as pitchers are often working on things and you don't know the level of competition being faced, nevertheless the stats from Milwaukee's starters (other than the above-mentioned Woodruff and Jhoulys Chacin, who will start opening day and is having a good spring) probably causes some concern. Non-roster invite Josh Tomlin (who was released Wednesday) has a 4.80 ERA, but a 0.93 WHIP -- and that puts him at the head of the class of those vying for a spot in the rotation. Freddy Peralta has allowed five runs in 7 1/3 innings (6.14 ERA), although just four hits with 12 strikeouts. Corbin Burnes has a 5.93 ERA and has allowed 19 hits in 13 2/3 innings. Chase Anferson's ERA is 7.07 with a 1.43 WHIP in 14 innings and Zach Davies is getting hammered to the tune of a 7.88 ERA and 1.69 WHIP in 16 innings.
Malcolm Brogdon, Bucks guard (↓ DOWN)
In the midst of a great season -- averaging 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 50.5 percent from the field, 42.6 percent from 3-point land and an NBA-best 92.8 percent from the line -- Brogdon saw his season come to an end due to a plantar fascia tear in his right foot. Well, we should say his regular season. Brogdon will be back at some point in the playoffs (as long as the Bucks keep winning), but his loss is a big one, especially for a team trying to lock down the No. 1 seed in the East.
USA TODAY SportsBenny Sieu
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks forward (↑ UP)
Antetokounmpo is making the amazing look normal. On March 15 in Miami, he missed a triple-double by one assist, recording 33 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists, as well as three blocks and two steals. When you're wondering what he can do for an encore, "The Greek Freak" went off for a career-high 52 points vs. Philadelphia to go with 16 rebounds and seven assists. He joined a select company of players to record a game with 50+ points, 15+ rebounds and 5+ assists (think: Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, you know those kind of everyday players), and just the sixth player to do it since 1976, joining Anthony Davis, James Harden, Jordan, Chris Webber and Russell Westbrook.
Khris Middleton, Bucks forward (↑ UP)
Middleton started off the week well, posting 21 points, eight assists and five rebounds against Miami then 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists against Philly. But with Antetokounmpo, among others, sidelined against the Lakers on Tuesday, Middleton took over. He scored a season-high 30 points on 12-of-20 shooting, including making 4 of 7 3-point attempts, with 10 rebounds and five assists.
Marcedes Lewis, Packers tight end (↑ UP)
Lewis appeared in just 17.7 percent of Green Bay's offensive snaps in 2018 (and had all of three catches for 39 yards), spoke out publicly concerning the disintegrating relationship between Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy and turns 35 in May. However, new Packers head coach Matt LaFleur wants to run the ball more and needs a blocking tight end, so Lewis was re-signed to a one-year deal for the same terms he received in 2018 -- a $500,000 signing bonus and $1.8 million non-guaranteed contract. We didn't see that one coming.