Milwaukee Brewers: Five impact players down the stretch

MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 09: Jaime Garcia
MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 09: Jaime Garcia /
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Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers /

Josh Hader

Hader has been a rookie sensation for the Milwaukee Brewers this season. The team has brought him along slowly, but he’s in a prime position to help this team win.

It is time for Josh Hader’s role to expand. When the Brewers have a starter struggling to get through the fourth inning, Hader should be ready to come in the game. His biggest flaw is his control. However, he combats that with ridiculous strikeout numbers.

Playing in Triple-A this season, Hader was not spectacular as a starting pitcher. He had 51 strikeouts and 31 walks in 52 innings pitched. He showed very little command of the strike zone. However, his potential is through the roof, and the Brewers called him up in early June.

Hader quickly made his presence felt. Through his first seven appearances out of the bullpen, Hader threw 9 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run. However, he did walk eight, while only striking out six. For the season, Hader has allowed only two earned runs while striking out 32 and walking 19 in 25 1/3 innings.

Take a little deeper look, ignore the walks, and Hader has been outstanding this season. He has allowed a .133 batting average to opposing hitters. He also has a very good .200 BABIP allowed. That helps to explain his outstanding 92.8% left-on-base percentage. With his otherworldly 11.37 K/9, he has proven he can miss bats.

His role in the bullpen is the second most important role behind Corey Knebel. The Brewers will need him to be able to come into games in high leverage situations and bridge the gap to the late inning guys. He is more than just a lefty-specialist in the pen, and manger Craig Counsell needs to turn to him more often down the stretch.