Possibly my favorite area of the Milwaukee Brewers squad this season. This is an extremely promising bullpen to help patch up a shaky rotation. I am giddy for this strikeout heavy bullpen that features the unhittable Corey Knebel. Here we will touch on a few of my favorites, starting with one of the best names in baseball:
Love the player almost as much as I love the name. An extreme strikeout lefty, Boone was terribly unlucky last year. He finished with an ERA of 4.71 while his FIP and xFIP were around 3.11. His BABIP was also a lot higher than league average, sitting at .353.
Boone could be a huge addition to this Milwaukee bullpen. Compared to the league average of 2.53 for relievers, his K/BB last year of 3.11 was unfair. Even if he doesn’t pitch as well as his peripherals dictate, we still get to hear “Boone Logan” called out each time he trots to the mound. And, to be honest, that is really enough for me to be happy with this addition.
The Brewer’s former top pitching prospect is an absolute menace as a long reliever. Not quite ready to jump to the rotation, Hader has made a name for himself as a Chris Devenski clone. The 23-year-old legitimately terrifies hitters as they come into the box with his 12.84 K/9 and finished 2017 with a 2.08 ERA. Not far off of his FIP and xFIP numbers, Hader will look to continue the success he had last year. Hader is worth the hype considering his age and success in his rookie year. If the lefty can figure out his walk issues too then there may be no ceiling to his potential.
Last but certainly not least, the man of the ninth inning. Finishing third in the league in K/9 at 14.92, ahead of names like Kenley Jansen and Andrew Miller, Knebel was dominant. Carried by his elite strikeout rate, Knebel also posted the ninth best ERA out of all relievers. Although his walk rate is a bit concerning, the Brewer’s closer is a top reliever in the majors.
At a position where there’s a lot of question marks throughout the league, the 26-year-old strikeout artist gives Milwaukee an edge. The advantage of being able to send a one run lead to the ninth inning and not worrying about losing the game can’t be stressed enough.
On the heels of a shocking 2017, the Milwaukee Brewers aren’t taking anyone by surprise this year. The Brewers will be making a playoff push thanks to the acquisitions of some shiny new toys and lesser known names. Fans throughout the world should get used to this team in Wisconsin as they are here to stay for years to come.