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Milwaukee Brewers: Brandon Woodruff finding his potential?

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PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 16: Brandon Woodruff #53 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers a first inning pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on May 16, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 16: Brandon Woodruff #53 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers a first inning pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on May 16, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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The Milwaukee Brewers won a key game against the Washington Nationals on Sunday. Their offense deserves credit for scoring nine runs, but the bullpen really did a fantastic job, specifically, Brandon Woodruff.

Brandon Woodruff was looked at as a future building block for the starting rotation for the Milwaukee Brewers, but he’s spent a lot of time with Colorado Springs this year. Woodruff worked his first appearance since returning on Sunday and delivered when the Brewers needed innings. He tossed four scoreless innings of relief, struck out five, and only allowed three hits.

Since being sent down

Woodruff put together some decent numbers for Colorado Springs in Triple-A this season.  He posted an ERA of 4.04 in 17 games pitched, and he struck out 68 batters in 71 1/3 innings pitched. Before being optioned to Triple-A,  he had an ERA of 4.80 and a record of 2-0 with the MIlwaukee Brewers. In 30 innings he struck out 31 hitters, while surrendering 16 runs on 26 hits.

Woodruff’s clutch return

After another short start from Junior Guerra, the Milwaukee Brewers needed innings out of somebody. Who better than their former number one pitching prospect? Woodruff did not disappoint. He did a great job to keep the Brewers in the game, and the team earned a key win. He also lowered his ERA from 4.80 to 4.24.

What is his future role?

That is a toss up and depends on if he can continue to perform at a high level. With all the possibilities of Corbin Burnes, Josh Hader and Freddy Peralta entering next years rotation, there may not be enough room for Woodruff. The Brewers could also add a few free agent signings or add a starter through a trade. The team is sure to have a very competitive spring with all the starting pitcher options available.

Could he enter the bullpen?

Yes. With the possibility that Hader may enter the rotation in 2019, Woodruff could take over the long relief role. He may be less effective than Hader since his stuff is not as electric, but he could serve a purpose for the Milwaukee Brewers late in games.

Woodruff earning a relief role can only happen if Hader becomes a starter and that decision is still up in the air. Woodruff could also move to a bullpen role along with Hader because the team may want to keep Hader where he is, and move Woodruff there.

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Whichever role Woodruff ends up playing next year will help out the Milwaukee Brewers, especially if he can stay consistent and develop his pitches to their full potential.

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