Milwaukee Brewers: The Impact of Matt Albers Returning

ST LOUIS, MO - APRIL 11: Matt Albers
ST LOUIS, MO - APRIL 11: Matt Albers /

Milwaukee Brewers veteran relief pitcher Matt Albers has been on a rehab assignment, and is set to return to the team from the disabled list on their trip in San Francisco. Albers was one of the under-the-radar pitchers out of the stacked Brewers bullpen, and his return will be important for this Brewers team.

Albers was arguably the third best reliever (behind Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress) on the team before he got hurt. He’s pitched 28.2 innings in which he has 25 strikeouts, a 1.151 WHIP, and 11 total earned runs given up. Five of those earned runs were given up in one appearance, his last game before getting hurt. If you take that game out, he has a sub-2.00 ERA on the season.

Without Albers, the Brewers bullpen has still managed well, but they haven’t quite been the same dominant force they were in April and May. Hader and Jeffress have both remained dominant, but some others in the pen have had ups and downs. Overall though, the Brewers bullpen remains a huge strength of their team, and a big reason they are in a playoff position.

The Albers Advantage

One pitcher in particular who has had to take a bigger role in Albers’ absence is Taylor Williams. Williams has electric stuff, and is capable of being a late inning reliever down the line, but he’s had his ups and downs in his new role. With Albers, Williams was more of a guy the Brewers would go to in games they were losing, or up by more than three runs, and that was a big advantage to have such a talented guy in those spots.

Similar to Jacob Barnes, Williams is very good when he is up, but causes problems when he is down, and he has had a couple appearances that have cost the Brewers. Having Albers return and fill into that role will regulate the bullpen management a little more and not force the rookie Williams into those situations as much.

Another advantage to getting Albers back is that it’s similar to a trade deadline acquisition with focus on the playoffs. Albers had some postseason experience in 2017 with the Nationals, and did well in his appearances. He is the only pitcher in the Brewers bullpen with any postseason experience, and he is a veteran presence who could help all of his playoff newcomer teammates.

The Milwaukee Brewers bullpen is essential to their success, especially with their rotation in the state that it’s in. They have been active in many trade rumors, but the reality is, there probably isn’t going to be a true ace coming to Milwaukee, and they will need to lean heavily on their bullpen in a playoff series.

The good thing is that the Brewers have multiple solid relievers that can each go multiple innings in a single game, so they don’t typically have to blow all of them in one game. Matt Albers adds to that mix of high quality relievers, and will make this Brewers team that is in need of a boost much better.

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It makes the rich part of the Milwaukee Brewers richer, and will hopefully lead to more dominant performances from the unit which leads to more wins.