With the calendar turning to September, teams can now expand their rosters to as many as 40 players. The Milwaukee Brewers are taking advantage of this flexibility by fortifying their pitching staff.
For the most part, the call ups were predictable. Junior Guerra and Wei-Chung Wang are back in Milwaukee to add length to the bullpen. Brandon Woodruff and Brent Suter are ready to help in the rotation as needed. However, the final pitcher brought up was a surprise.
Taylor Williams hasn’t pitched an inning above Double-A. He also has a troubling history of elbow issues. Nonetheless, the 26-year-old showed promise with Biloxi this season and is coming to the Major Leagues to provide relief help.
Who is Taylor Williams?
Williams was a fourth-round draft pick back in 2014 out of Kent State University. He worked primarily as a starter during the beginning of his professional career. However, nagging elbow discomfort kept him out of action in 2015. He ultimately underwent Tommy John surgery, ending his 2016 campaign before it began.
The Milwaukee Brewers opted to send him to Double-A Biloxi this season despite not pitching in games since 2014. The results have been pleasing. He started 14 games for the Shuckers, although the team didn’t let him pitch more than three innings in any game in an effort to keep him healthy. Toward the end of the Minor League season, Williams moved into a full relief role and shined. He made six relief appearances in the month of August and didn’t allow a single run while fanning 10 batters and walking none.
The strikeouts are definitely the biggest draw to Williams, as his electric fastball helped him whiff 57 batters in 46 2/3 innings this year. His control was a bit suspect, as he walked 21 hitters in that span. Despite his issues with finding the plate, he has the ability to impact games out of the bullpen.
With plenty of other arms clamoring for work in the back end of the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen, Williams isn’t in line for high-leverage innings. However, given his strong arm and ability to work multiple innings if needed, he could play a big role down the stretch as the Brewers vie for a playoff berth.