Milwaukee Brewers Roundtable: Ideal Future Bullpen
By Trevor Hooth
As Trevor pointed out, bullpens have so much turn over from year to year that it’s hard to speculate what it might look like. However, Milwaukee is in an admirable position right now, and moving forward, throughout the entire pitching staff.
I agree with Trevor about Josh Hader too. Hader pitching in the rotation is tantalizing, but he will have more impact from the bullpen. As a closer Hader can come in and pitch multiple innings when needed, making it a pretty natural fit. However, I do have to disagree about trading Corey Knebel. When Hader is ready to close, Jacob Barnes and Knebel can handle the the 7th and 8th, respectively.
Barnes is an intriguing option. He’s young and nasty on the hill. When he’s right he is tough to hit. Knebel is a”go to work and do my job” type of player. He is filthy on the mound and it showed in 2017 how tough he is to hit, setting records along the way.
Hader is downright scary when he toes the rubber. That arm angle and velocity, mixed with iffy command, make it uncomfortable for any left-handed hitter stepping into the batters box. I loved watching Joey Votto nervously bounce around in the box when facing Hader last season. If you can knock a hitter like that off balance then you know you’re doing something right.
The best part about these three is the amount of team control left with all of them. The Milwaukee Brewers have the potential to have cost controlled, quality, pitchers everywhere in the pen. Drake is a placeholder at this point, and I could definitely see Wei-Chung Wang or Taylor Williams taking his role this season.
Jeremy Jeffress, who has always been a productive player in Milwaukee, will be here as well. He’ll pitch in big situations earlier in the ballgame for the Brewers, helping escape jams when the starter struggles early. Wang, Williams, and a whole slew of other pitchers will help fill out the pen.
The long guys and LOOGY’s are so interchangeable that it’s pointless to speculate on that. However, I hope Boone Logan works out and provides quality innings for this team moving forward. The more left-handed pitchers a team has the better is my philosophy.
The Milwaukee Brewers are well stocked in the bullpen, this season, and beyond. However, there’s usually a free agent or two every season as well. It’s likely The Crew will still be adding a pitcher who is not currently with the organization who will play a vital role in the next playoff push.
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The Crew has quality starting and relief pitchers sprinkled throughout every level of the Minors. For most of these players, the bullpen will be their best path to MLB. The Brewers are in good shape and the future is bright because of this depth. It is definitely a strength for this pitching staff headed into the future. When the rotation catches up, this team will be tough to beat.