Pitching in Atlanta has been a nightmare for Will Smith over the past two seasons. First there was last year’s warm-up debacle and then this year he was recently ejected for using a foreign substance. Earlier today, the Milwaukee Brewers announced that Smith’s appeal had been heard and his suspension has been reduced. As the Brewers are set to begin a series against the Minnesota Twins, they will be without one of their best bullpen arms.
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Although it is great that the suspension has been reduced, the Brewers will be in a hole for the next six games with his absence from the bullpen and no option to bring up another player in his place. Currently, the team has seven pitchers available in the ‘pen.
Even with a fresh Michael Blazek and other arms rested after Thursday’s off-day the Brewers bullpen will need plenty of help to make it through the week strong. This will mean that it is even more important for pitchers like Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse to have strong outings this weekend.
With the need for another starting pitcher coming on June ninth in Pittsburgh, another roster move is right around the corner. Since Tyler Cravy and Tyler Wagner cannot make this start, likely candidates for this spot include pitchers like Taylor Jungmann, Tyler Thornburg or Jorge Lopez.
The loss of Smith will hurt, but at least the suspension was cut short. With two tough series ahead, the starting pitchers will need to give the Brewers’ bullpen all the help that they can to make it through the week.