The Milwaukee Brewers have one of the deepest bullpens at the Major League level. However, they may have extra lefties next year. Should they cut Dan Jennings loose, or keep him around as an extra LOOGY?
It wouldn’t come as a shock to see Dan Jennings pitch until he’s 45. Jennings is a lefty who is really good at getting out other lefties. But is there room for Jennings on the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019? The Brewers will still have Josh Hader at the back of their bullpen, and Xavier Cedeno should stay with the team. Can the Brewers carry three left-handers in their bullpen?
How did Jennings do in 2018?
He did his job.
Jennings logged 64 1/3 innings in 71 games for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018. He posted a 3.22 ERA with 45 strikeouts, 23 walks, and six homers allowed. Jennings limited left-handers to a .220/.266/.304 slash line in 125 chances. He was exactly what the Brewers needed him to be.
Only Jeremy Jeffress had more appearances in 2018 for the Brewers than Jennings.
He’s arbitration-eligible, right?
He sure is! Jennings earned $750k last year, but he should get a bump in the range of $1.6 million or so in 2019. Jennings will become a free agent after the 2019 season, unless he fetches a multi-year deal.
Should the Brewers carry Jennings in 2019?
Well, his salary won’t bust the budget, but the Milwaukee Brewers are a virtual lock to carry Hader and Cedeno next year. It’s worth noting that the Brewers did carry three lefties for most of the playoffs, but they were also able to get by without keeping a full complement of starting pitchers on the roster. With five starters on the roster for the majority of the 2019 season, there may not be room for Jennings in an eight-man bullpen.
Whether Jennings stays or not really depends on the rotation. If Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff both work their way into the starting five, there might be enough room for Jennings to stick around in an eight-man bullpen. Hader, Cedeno, Jeffress, and Corey Knebel are the only locks for the Opening Day roster. Jennings worked a ton for the Milwaukee Brewers last year, and should stick around for 2019. Unless the Brewers add at least two premium relievers, Jennings should earn a spot on the initial bullpen.