After losing key contributors from the 2017 team, the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen faces an uphill climb in 2018.
The Milwaukee Brewers bullpen has taken a hit over the course of the offseason. To start, Jared Hughes was non-tendered and recently signed a two-year deal with the rival Cincinnati Reds. The decision to not bring Hughes back with his $2.2 million tender option was puzzling after a solid 2017 campaign.
Carlos Torres appears to have played his last game in Milwaukee. Torres threw 72 2/3 innings with an unimpressive 1.52 WHIP. Torres was the Milwaukee Brewers second most utilized reliever last season.
Late season acquisition Anthony Swarzak was a hot commodity in free agency and deservedly so; in 2017 he pitched 77 1/3 innings and had a career-low 1.03 WHIP. The New York Mets quickly swiped Swarzak from free agency. Milwaukee Brewers GM David Stearns said that while he would have liked him back he was unwilling to match the Mets offer.
There is a lot of slack to be picked up in the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen from the 2017 season.
Josh Hader will play an important role in the 2018 season, but it is still unclear whether he will contribute to the bullpen or the rotation. Still, moves need to be made in order for the 2018 Brewers to have a solid bullpen.
Miller Park is by no means a “pitchers ballpark” and having quality relievers is a must to limit runs. Oliver Drake and Jeremy Jeffress put together less than optimal seasons and while Jacob Barnes put together a decent year he will need help.
Boone Logan has joined the Brewers, but he owns a career 1.44 WHIP and he’s prone to injury. Logan has only pitched 50 or more innings twice in his career and hasn’t done so since 2012. While he can be considered a LOOGY, the bullpen needs another arm to fill innings.
Yovani Gallardo could be helpful as a long inning relief option, but he has regressed and it’s unclear if he will regain his touch from the reunion.
The Brewers need another proven commodity who can fill innings and be trusted in key situations.
Here are five relievers who would greatly strengthen the bullpen.