RHP Matt Albers
The months of April and May were fantastic for Matt Albers in 2018. He posted a 1.08 ERA in 21 appearances covering 25 innings through the first two months of the season.
Then June hit.
After allowing three runs in 25 innings for the first two months, Albers allowed eight runs in just 3.2 innings in June. Once June began, Albers made just 13 appearances through the rest of the season, he allowed runs in 10 of those 13 appearances. He allowed 2+ runs in 9 of those 10 games. His ERA ballooned from 1.08 up to 7.34.
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Albers went on the DL with a shoulder injury in mid-June and missed the next six weeks. He just wasn’t the same afterwards. Craig Counsell gave him opportunities to pitch through it but Albers just couldn’t get right.
The Milwaukee Brewers signed Albers to a 2 year contract and was guaranteed $2.5 million for the 2019 season. So they held onto him through the struggles and the offseason in the hopes they could find that pitcher with the 1.08 ERA through the first two months once again.
This offseason, Albers placed a focus on getting in better physical shape and working out his shoulder to prevent future overuse injuries and keep it healthy over a full season. He’s also been adjusting his pitch arsenal and is ready for a strong 2019 season.
Albers is primed for a bounceback this year because, put simply, he can’t get much worse than what he was from June onward in 2018. He was throwing batting practice at that point. If he can get back to his dominant self, Albers makes that Milwaukee Brewers bullpen even deadlier.
If the Milwaukee Brewers see bounceback years from these five players, as well as repeat performances from their stars last year, a repeat as NL Central champions is definitely in the cards.