Milwaukee Brewers: Why is Brandon Woodruff back in Triple-A?

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 11: Brandon Woodruff
MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 11: Brandon Woodruff /

Milwaukee Brewers optioned starter Brandon Woodruff to Triple-A earlier this week. Why is he there and when will he return to the Major League rotation?

Starter Brandon Woodruff was expected to play an important role with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018. He’s back in Colorado Springs and it’s only April 8th. What happened?

Why did the Brewers option Woodruff?

The Milwaukee Brewers optioned Woodruff to Triple-A because they could. With the current roster crunch, the Brewers were only carrying seven relief pitchers. After a few rough outings from the starting staff, the Brewers needed an extra arm. Woodruff still has options left, so the Brewers can return him to the Minors without exposing him to waivers.

There may have also been a performance-based reason for Woodruff’s demotion. Woodruff posted an ERA over 7.00 in the spring, and owns a 5.14 ERA in seven innings with the Brewers this season. He’s struck out six and only walked two in his one start and two relief appearances. While he wasn’t succeeding, he wasn’t awful.

We’ll know a lot more about how long he’ll stay in the Minors by this time next week.

Who got called up?

J.J. Hoover is now in the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen. Hoover made exactly one appearance for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. He worked 2/3 of an inning and gave up one hit. In the spring, Hoover worked 10 games. He posted a 0.87 ERA in 10 1/3 innings of work. He struck out five and walked three.

When will Woodruff return?

He has to stay in Colorado Springs for at least 10 days since he went down without an injury.

The Milwaukee Brewers get a day off after next week’s three-game series in St. Louis. After that, they have 10 consecutive games before another off day. Woodruff could even return during the Cardinals series. He’ll probably return when the Brewers need a fifth starter and he’s been down for at least 10 days.

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The Milwaukee Brewers expected Woodruff to eat up a lot of innings this season. He’s gone from a lock for the rotation to a guy who lacks a defined role to demoted in the span of a month. However, Woodruff hasn’t received the consistent work that a starting pitcher needs to maintain success. Working out of the bullpen was unexpected, and it may have disrupted Woodruff’s routine. Hopefully a few days or weeks in Colorado Springs will straighten out his season.