Milwaukee Brewers: What happens when Boone Logan returns?

DETROIT, MI - MAY 2: Boone Logan
DETROIT, MI - MAY 2: Boone Logan /

Boone Logan was signed over the offseason to be one of the Milwaukee Brewers top bullpen arms. Now that he’s close to returning from the disabled list, how is the current bullpen affected?

Boone Logan signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers back in January. The southpaw was supposed to be the missing piece to bolster the Milwaukee bullpen. However, he’s been out since late March due to a triceps strain suffered in Spring Training. Logan is still a bit of time away from returning from the disabled list, but what happens when he does?

Boone Logan Scenario 1: Option Taylor Williams

This is arguably the simplest solution. The team already used Taylor Williams‘ minor-league option for the year, so shuttling him between the majors and minors isn’t a problem. This solution also allows the Brewers to keep all of their current pitchers in the organization.

However, there’s one catch with this scenario: Williams belongs in the majors. He allowed three runs (two earned) in 6.1 innings pitched, but he has 12 strikeouts in that span. His control is still lacking, but he has the stuff to be effective in the big leagues. This may be the simplest solution, but it could prove to be detrimental to the team if it’s the route they choose to go.

Boone Logan Scenario 2: Cut ties with Oliver Drake

It’s no secret that Milwaukee Brewers fans can be frustrated with Oliver Drake at times…well, most of the time. Here at Reviewing the Brew, we even investigated why he’s still around. When Boone Logan returns, some might argue that it’s the perfect time to designate him for assignment. Despite what the fans say, Drake’s actual performance this season suggests that’s a bad idea.

Drake hasn’t been awful this season despite what traditional metrics say. His 5.91 ERA is largely a result of one six-run outing against the Reds. Outside of that, he’s allowed just one run on five hits in 9.2 frames. He also has 13 strikeouts on the season. He may be frustrating at times, but when he’s on his game, Drake is worth keeping around.

Additionally, Drake is out of options. Given his major-league experience and relative success, he wold undoubtedly be plucked off waivers if the Brewers put him out there. If the Brewers designate him for assignment, there’s an incredibly slim chance that he’ll remain in the organization.

Boone Logan Scenario 3: Release Dan Jennings

When Logan returns from the disabled list, the Brewers will have three lefties in the bullpen. Is that really necessary? Dan Jennings was acquired the day before Opening Day, so wouldn’t it be simple to release him to make room on the active roster?

I’ll go ahead and say it: this is not a great solution. Sure, carrying three southpaws might be redundant, but Jennings has been outstanding for Milwaukee this season. Even though his FIP is a whole point higher than his ERA, it’s still a lowly 2.69 mark. He isn’t the flashiest pitcher around, but he simply gets the job done.

Boone Logan Scenario 4: Employ a Four-Man Rotation

Other teams have tried a four-man rotation, so why can’t the Milwaukee Brewers? Brent Suter has struggled so far this season, and he has two options remaining. Perhaps a tune-up in the minors is what he needs to get back on track.

Junior Guerra also has an option remaining, though he’s looking very good in the big leagues. If he falls off in his next starts though, he could also be a candidate to send back to Colorado Springs.

This might not be entirely feasible depending on when Logan returns, however. Assuming he is activated in the month of May, the Brewers only have four off days all month, two of which occur in the first week. The Brewers very well may need to carry five starters all month just to get by.

Boone Logan Scenario 5: Send Another Reliever to the DL

This is the least ideal scenario, but it would be the most convenient. Simply replace an injured reliever in the bullpen with Logan when he’s healthy. Everyone stays in the organization, no one gets sent to the minors. Essentially, everyone wins (except for the pitcher who’s hurt, of course).

This is pure speculation, however. Injuries are out of the team’s control, so this is only a viable solution if the Brewers are unlucky enough to suffer yet another injury to the relief corps. As such, it’s hard to actually plan for this to occur ahead of time.

Next: On The Road Again

There are many solutions to the logjam that will be created when Boone Logan returns. Some are more simple than others, but all have their merits and shortcomings. Regardless, the Brewers will have a tough decision on their hands in early May.