Milwaukee Brewers: How many innings will Woodruff, Peralta, & Burnes throw?

Matthew Dewoskin
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 03: Freddy Peralta #51 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the sixth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on April 3, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Brewers won 1-0 to complete a three-game sweep. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 03: Freddy Peralta #51 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the sixth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on April 3, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Brewers won 1-0 to complete a three-game sweep. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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How many innings will the Milwaukee Brewers allow Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, and Corbin Burnes to throw in 2019? All three will be on an innings limit. Let’s take a look at what to expect from the trio.

Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, and Corbin Burnes have fewer than 220 innings in the Majors combined. The Milwaukee Brewers already know they’re going to keep the young trio on an innings limit in 2019. But how many innings will they throw, and how will the team compete while managing their workload?

Why limit innings for young starters?

Back in the 70’s, 80’s, and early 90’s, teams were content to let young hurlers log full workloads. ‘If it was good enough for Nolan Ryan, it was good enough for everyone’ was the thinking. Teams would have starters come up, succeed, toss 200 innings, struggle to repeat their success, and eventually end up on the DL with shoulder, elbow, or labrum issues.

In 2019, teams choose to allow their young pitchers to grow into full-time roles. Most pitchers in the Minors are limited to 100-to-120 innings. Pitchers in their first year of Major League action typically don’t exceed 140-to-150 innings of work.

Philadelphia Phillies starter Aaron Nola‘s career arc is an accurate representation of workload management. He arrived in 2015, and bumped his innings up by about 40-to-50 every year until he threw over 210 last year. He’s a solid bet to end the year among the league leaders in innings thrown in 2019.

What was the trio’s workload last year?

When working out an innings limit for a young starter, it’s best to start from the previous season and add about 40-to-50 innings of work to the next year as an acceptable ‘innings bump’.

Burnes tossed just over 115 innings between Triple-A and the Majors last year. Woodruff logged just under 115 innings in stops at Triple-A and Milwaukee. Peralta was just over 140 innings last year, and he was shut down for most of September.

What’s a realistic innings bump for the trio?

Burnes and Woodruff will likely be on similar limits given their nearly identical workloads in 2018. They’re also only separated by one inch of height and 10 lbs. of weight according to their profiles, despite having different body types. Both could add about 40 innings to their workload from 2018, and not suffer an ‘innings hangover’ in 2020.

Peralta is under six feet tall, and is listed at 175 lbs. His size has often been listed as a criticism in scouting reports, and scouts have previously mentioned concerns over his long term durability as a starter. Peralta held up well last year, but there was a reason he didn’t throw much in September. The Milwaukee Brewers may have similar concerns, and it wouldn’t come as a shock to see Peralta throw fewer than 170 innings in 2019.

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The Milwaukee Brewers are blessed with a deep pool of starting pitchers to choose from. Jimmy Nelson will return to the Majors soon, and Chase Anderson can always stretch himself out a little, and step into a start. The team can also turn to one or two of their arms in Triple-A to pick up a few innings if Burnes, Peralta, and Woodruff are heading toward the ‘red zone’. The team is built to manage the workload of their young starters, and it shouldn’t be an issue unless the team suffers a rash of injuries.

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