Brandon Woodruff is scheduled to make his Major League debut on Thursday, August 3rd. The team needs a starter to take Junior Guerra’s turn and, barring disaster, Brandon Woodruff will finally take the mound tor the Milwaukee Brewers.
What Happened To Woodruff?
You don’t remember? Well, after starting the season as one of the hottest pitchers in the Brewers organization, Brandon Woodruff was set to make his first Major League start. He didn’t make it through warmups. Woodruff injured his hamstring and needed a month on the shelf before he made his return. Seeing Woodruff go from in the lineup to ‘scratched’ about thirty minutes before his debut was one of the oddest situations that the Brewers have dealt with in a while.
How Did He Do After The Injury?
Not great. He made three starts with Colorado Springs after returning from injury. His first two were awful. He didn’t make it through the fourth inning in his first game back. The results were even worse in his second game back. He left the game after surrendering eight runs, four earned, in the first inning.
Woodruff did get back on track with his most recent effort. His five scoreless innings with six K’s and two walks on July 29th likely played a role in getting his second call of the season. It clearly took him a few games to work his way back after missing just over a month. He should be ready to throw 90+ pitches on Thursday.
What’s His Repertoire Like Again?
The young right-hander offers a big fastball that sits in the 94-96 MPH range and mixes it with a very good slider and a mediocre change-up. He’s not nearly as explosive to the plate as Josh Hader, but he does have superior command at this stage of his development. FanGraphs listed his closest comparison as James Shields. While Shields has struggled in recent years, he was fantastic for long time. The Milwaukee Brewers would be thrilled to have Big Game James version 2.0 on their hands.
There’s a very good chance that Woodruff sticks in the rotation. He has the size, three-pitch repertoire and command that Major League teams look for in starting pitchers. There may be a few bumps along the way, but Woodruff will play a key role in the future of the Milwaukee Brewers. And the future starts on Thursday.