Get to know a Brewers reliever: David Phelps

Matthew Dewoskin
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 16: David Phelps #37 and Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs shake hands after defeating the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field on September 16, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 16: David Phelps #37 and Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs shake hands after defeating the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field on September 16, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Right-hander David Phelps is one of the few bullpen additions that is almost guaranteed of a spot on the Milwaukee Brewers 2020 roster. How effective can Phelps be?

The Milwaukee Brewers needed to rebuild their bullpen around closer Josh Hader this past off season. The team added a few interesting pieces and will re-purpose a few internal options, but they didn’t really add a capable veteran reliever. The closest they got to upgrading their bullpen was bringing in journeyman right-hander David Phelps. Can Phelps really provide the Brewers with a bridge from the start to Hader?

How did Phelps come to the Brewers?

Phelps signed as a free agent on a one-year deal worth $1.5 million and comes with a club option for 2021.

How did Phelps perform in 2019?

Phelps split his 2019 campaign between the Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays. In total, he worked 41 games and posted a 3.41 ERA in 55 2/3 innings of work. He struck out 62, walked 26, and got tagged for five homers.

Will Phelps make the 2020 Opening Day roster?

It would take a disastrous Spring or an injury to keep Phelps off the Opening Day roster. He’s as close to a lock as there is outside of Hader.

What kind of role will he fill for the Brewers?

Phelps will likely be a part of the bridge to Hader. He can work more than one inning, but he’s a lot more capable against righties than lefties. He posted a .376 wOBA against lefties and a .292 wOBA against righties last year.

Phelps is one of the few proven veteran options in the 2020 Milwaukee Brewers bullpen. He’s expected to be a part of the bridge from the starter to the closer, and the team needs him to have success in that role.

Next. Who should the Brewers offer contract extensions to?. dark

One of the greatest strengths of the Brewers over the last two years was their bullpen depth. Most of that is gone and it hasn’t been replenished to the level it needed to be. Phelps represents one of the few veteran options on the 40-man roster, and he’s going to play a key role if the team is going to make it back to the post season in 2020.

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