Milwaukee Brewers reliever Adrian Houser was optioned back to Triple-A before Saturday’s game. Aaron Wilkerson was called back up. Why?
Adrian Houser threw 2 2/3 innings of relief on Friday, so it was thought that he would go back to Colorado Springs to bring a fresh arm back up. That’s exactly what the Milwaukee Brewers did on Saturday morning. However, there was one surprise. They didn’t bring back Brandon Woodruff or Alec Asher. They called up Aaron Wilkerson.
When did we last hear Wilkerson’s name?
Wilkerson was originally in the mix for the fifth starter’s role in the Spring, and was up for a few weeks before the All-Star break. He owns a 10.00 ERA in three games, including one start, with the Milwaukee Brewers this year.
How has Wilkerson been in Triple-A?
Really good! Wilkerson owns a 2.48 ERA with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox this year. He’s worked 54 1/3 innings, and he’s struck out 48 while walking 22. He’s only been tagged for two homers in the Pacific Coast League. That in and of itself is an accomplishment.
Will Wilkerson really stick this time?
Probably not. Even if Wilkerson dominates, he’ll probably head back down in a few days.
This is part of the ‘roster game’ the Milwaukee Brewers have played all year, and will continue to play until September 1st. They’ve used creativity to turn a 12-man or 13-man pitching staff into a 15-man or 16-man staff. By using options, and shuttling relievers between Milwaukee and Colorado Springs, the Brewers have done a great job of keeping their bullpen as fresh as possible.
The Milwaukee Brewers have a deep bullpen, but their depth has been tested with Matt Albers, Joakim Soria, and Taylor Williams on the shelf. They’re going to need to continue using options to keep fresh arms in the shallow end of their bullpen to avoid burning out their relief corps in the final months. Houser will probably get called back up once he’s taken a few days to rest, and he could even go back down if the Brewers need another arm before rosters expand on September 1st.