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Milwaukee Brewers Rotation Battle: Why Brandon Woodruff Deserves A Spot

MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 20: Brandon Woodruff #53 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts to a strike out against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning in Game Seven of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on October 20, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 20: Brandon Woodruff #53 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts to a strike out against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning in Game Seven of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on October 20, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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The Milwaukee Brewers have quite the starting rotation battle on their hands this spring training. There are more players deserving of spots in the rotation than there are spots available.

Only five starting pitchers will make the initial rotation for the Milwaukee Brewers. We know Jhoulys Chacin will be one of them. The rest of the spots, though, are up for grabs.

As part of a series on the rotation battle as spring winds down, we’ll take a look at each of the candidates for those spots. We’ll start with Brandon Woodruff.

The Case For Brandon Woodruff

Brandon Woodruff has proved himself a valuable pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers over the past couple seasons. Last year, in 19 games, with four starts, Woodruff posted a 3.61 ERA over 42 1/3 innings with 10 K/9.

In the postseason, Woodruff was lights out, posting a 2.19 ERA in 12.1 innings of work in October. In Game 5 of the NLCS, he was counted on as the long “reliever”, going 5 1/3 innings following the one batter outing of Wade Miley.

In Game 1 of that NLCS, he also hit a bomb off Clayton Kershaw. That has nothing to do with his pitching ability and making the rotation, but isn’t it fun to watch again?

Besides his hitting prowess, Woodruff has proven himself a very capable pitcher. He’s still young at 26 years old and has only made 12 big league starts over the last two years.

This spring training, Woodruff is doing everything he can to prove himself worthy of a spot in that rotation. In three big league games, Woodruff has a 0.00 ERA over nine innings and has struck out 12 batters.

In his most recent start, Woody went five scoreless innings against the Padres and looked as dominant as ever.

He’s had a strong spring training and has looked better than most, if not all, of the other candidates. Take spring training stats for what you will, but Woodruff has pitched great this spring. If it’s truly an open competition among the five candidates for the four remaining spots, Woodruff is clearly not looking like the odd man out.

Prior to losing his rookie eligibility, Woodruff was a Top 100 prospect in MLB and scouting reports gave him the upside of a No. 3 starter in the big leagues. This is someone the Milwaukee Brewers should want in their rotation. Woody has good command of all three of his pitches and keeps the ball on the ground, which is key in Miller Park.

His fastball is clocked in the mid-upper 90s on the regular, making him one of the harder throwing members of the rotation group.

The starting rotation comes down to the best five pitchers the Brewers have. That high ceiling of his and the way he came through in the postseason makes him a logical member of that top five. If he doesn’t at least make the initial starting rotation, something is seriously wrong.

Next. Jimmy Nelson Takes A Huge Step Forward. dark

Based on his past big league experience and his strong showings in spring training, Brandon Woodruff deserves a spot in that starting rotation for the Milwaukee Brewers.

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