Milwaukee Brewers: Should Brent Suter return to the rotation?

MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 02: Brent Suter
MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 02: Brent Suter /
Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers /

Milwaukee Brewers left-hander Brent Suter is nearing a return from the strained rotator cuff that landed him on the DL. The question is, where should he return to? The bullpen or the rotation? It looks like he’ll return in early September, but it’s not clear where he’ll fit in.

Brent Suter has made nine starts and seven relief appearances for the Milwaukee Brewers. However, he’s returning to a team that has added to the bullpen and found a full complement of starters. Which role will he find himself in when he does come back?

Should Suter Start?

In Suter’s nine starts, he’s been perfectly acceptable. He owns a 3.86 ERA in 49 innings as a starter. Suter has walked only 13 while striking out 39. The Milwaukee Brewers can make a case that he’s a better option in the rotation than Matt Garza at this point. However, Garza’s only value to the team is gobbling up innings and taking the ball every fifth day. He’s worked exclusively out of the bullpen and he won’t make the transition in the middle of the pennant race.

Other than Garza, the Milwaukee Brewers have a full rotation. Jimmy Nelson and Chase Anderson are locked in. Zach Davies isn’t going anywhere and Brandon Woodruff has the fifth starter’s job locked down for now. There doesn’t appear to be an opening in the Brewers rotation for Suter to slide into right now.

Should Suter Pitch In Relief?

Through seven appearances out of the bullpen, Suter has, again, been perfectly fine. As a reliever, he owns a 3.48 ERA in 10 1/3 innings of work. He’s fanned 10 while walking five. The only left-handed pitcher on the Milwaukee Brewers roster is Josh Hader.

The lack of lefties alone is reason enough to send Suter out to the bullpen for the final month of the season. They need more than just Hader to come in to face tough lefties in the late innings. Without a clear path to a starting spot, and a lack of left-handed options in the bullpen, Suter appears ticketed for a relief role in September.

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Brent Suter may have a role in next year’s rotation, but given the need, he looks like he’s headed to the ‘pen. Suter will give Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell another trustworthy option from the left side in the late innings. His addition could give the team a bit more stability in the late innings than they currently have, and handle tough lefties that there really isn’t an option for right now.