The Milwaukee Brewers made two additions to their bullpen this off season with the right-handed Matt Albers and left-handed Dan Jennings. These signings were under the radar, but it looks like these two will have an impact on this team’s success.
With Milwaukee Brewers closer Corey Knebel going down with an injury, these two will get a lot more work. No one closer has been named quite yet. It seems like the Brewers will have a closer by committee situation. Both Matt Albers and Dan Jennings will probably get their chances at getting saves, especially Albers.
How has Albers pitched?
Albers has made three appearances this season. He’s given up just two hits and zero runs in four innings. His two-inning performance in Friday night’s game against the Cubs was huge for the team. Albers had to battle and make multiple clutch pitches with the Cubs hitters putting up tough at bats. He was clearly pumped up after the strikeout to end the top of the ninth.
What about Jennings?
Jennings has made four appearances. He’s given up just one run in 4 2/3 innings pitched. He looks like a perfect fit for the bullpen as a situational lefty, but he can also pitch against right-handers. He can even pitch multiple innings. His slider has proven to be very difficult for both lefties and righties to hit, but especially tough on left-handers.
How will they impact the season?
The fact that both of these pitchers are capable of going multiple innings is the most important aspect of these signings. The starting rotation was the biggest concern for the Milwaukee Brewers in the off-season. It continues to be a concern in the start of the season. Albers and Jennings will have to cover for them quite often.
Other than Chase Anderson, nobody in the rotation is truly reliable right now. None of the Milwaukee Brewers starters have gone very deep into games this season. If they have starters going only four or five innings every night, the bullpen is eventually going to wear down. However, relievers who can go multiple innings can help with that problem.
With Jimmy Nelson down, the Milwaukee Brewers will experiment a lot with their rotation, especially with the fifth spot. Brandon Woodruff was already sent down to make room for another bullpen arm. While he expects to come back up soon, it shows how the rotation is not solid. They will have plenty of “bullpen days” where lots of innings are needed from the pen.
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Albers and Jennings are the new additions to a bullpen that is off to a very good start in 2018. Considering how poor the Brewers bullpen was at the start of 2017, this unit’s success early this season is very reassuring. However, the starters will have to start pulling their weight more to avoid the bullpen wearing down.