The Milwaukee Brewers look to add depth when rosters expand in September. Who will get the call to help the playoff-hopeful Brewers reach October?
When looking at possible reinforcements during the final stretch of the season, there are a few factors to take into account. First, how are they performing at their respected level? Second, do they have major league experience? Finally, do their current skills have the ability to be effective in the majors?
Best fits with MLB service time
The Milwaukee Brewers biggest weakness recently seems to be their bullpen. In the last few games, the same bullpen that was the best in baseball is starting to look vulnerable. It could be the arms are feeling overworked and could explain the recent hiccups.
Although just optioned to Singe-A Wisconsin, it remains to be seen if Zach Davies can be effective enough to come back this season. Davies has suffered setback after setback and his season is fading away. If he does get back to the big leagues, a hopeful playoff team might not slot him right into the rotation. However, he could be used as a depth option in September.
There are some other choices that could lend a hand. Brandon Woodruff is definitely one name that we should see up on or after September 1st. Since being optioned earlier in the year, Woodruff has found some success at Triple-A. He owns a 3.78 ERA in 15 outings and has 60 strikeouts in 64 innings pitched. Woodruff could be a good option for a long relief role.
Adrian Houser is also a name that could see another stint in the MLB. He has been shuffled a bit between the minors and the majors in his first year back from Tommy John surgery. However, in seven games at the big league level, Houser owns a 3.29 ERA in 13 innings pitched.
Wild Card option?
There are a few arms that have been either recently acquired by the organization or are in lower minor league levels. One interesting project is Ariel Hernandez, a newly acquired flamethrower off of the waiver wire from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He could see his first MLB action with Milwaukee when rosters expand. Hernandez owns a 11.57 ERA in Triple-A with Colorado Springs, but has only given up one hit that resulted in three runs, so it’s a very small sample size. His fastball averages 97-98 mph and could be an enticing option for Milwaukee’s bullpen.
Possible bench bats?
We can speculate all we want but the Milwaukee Brewers offense has been streaky. Luckily, they have a few options to be called up during the final month. One option is a pretty good bet to get the call.
Domingo Santana got off to a horribly bad start in 2018. His struggles forced the Brewers to option him to Colorado Springs a month and a half into the season. Since being optioned, Santana is struggling to find his power from the 2017 season where he hit 30 home runs and drove in 85 RBIs.
Bringing up Santana could be like the Milwaukee Brewers making a trade for an impact bat. In Triple-A, he has a slash line of .287/.412/.484. He only has seven home runs, but if he’s called up, he will be a nice option to have off the bench.
Santana is also coming off a doubleheader where he hit two walk-offs on the same day.
Keon Broxton is another option and he’s not very far away as he was just optioned to Single-A Wisconsin because of the upcoming birth of his child. Keon Broxton will likely be back and his speed and Gold Glove caliber defense will be a valuable asset as a late in game defensive substitution.
Another option that did not show much of a bat in his first stint in the majors this season is Nate Orf, whose first MLB hit was a home run on the 4th of July. He could be another option who has the ability to pinch run late in a game if needed.
Of course, these predictions can still all be changed with a few days left before the waiver trade deadline passes, but these seem to be the most likely candidates that have the best chance to contribute to certain situations.