Milwaukee Brewers veteran reliever Matt Albers was having a solid season before he was put on the DL. But since his return, he has struggled mightily. He was expected to fit back into his role of pitching 6th/7th inning, but that seems to be fading away from Albers quickly.
In three appearances since his injury, Matt Albers has given up seven earned runs in 1.1 innings pitched. That includes three home runs, two walks and seven hits, as well as the walk off home run in the 10th inning against the Dodgers. His ERA has jumped from 1.93 to 5.70.
With how good, and deep the Brewers bullpen is, you have to be good to continue to get appearances. Albers is not the only bullpen pitcher to go through a struggle over multiple games, but he has to turn it around quickly if he wants to remain on this team.
Albers In A New Role?
Counsell could easily just push Albers into a more long relief role instead of putting him in game winning situations. Right now, however, Albers is more of a liability then someone you can trust to get you through some innings when you need it. He will have to earn back trust, but he should not be given up on after one bad stretch.
Especially in April and May, Albers was very good, and that has earned him the right to playing time now despite his struggles. But again, this team is in a position where it needs to be more critical and have a shorter leash, and if Albers doesn’t pick it up in his next one or two appearances, he might lose his job on the big league level.
The Brewers have one of the best bullpens in baseball, and they’re going to need it more than anything down the stretch and possibly into the postseason. They have multiple guys they can count on in that pen, including new addition Joakim Soria, but right now, Albers is not one of them. Not to say he can’t get back to that, but he will have to re-earn his spot in the unit.
Matt Albers’ struggles this past week have not helped this bullpen. He directly caused the loss on Wednesday and played a big part in the game getting out of hand on Thursday. Even with his struggles, the Milwaukee Brewers have other options to go with in the late innings to lock up some big wins down the stretch.