Our 2020 Milwaukee Brewers season report card series continues. Today we will grade the season of starting pitcher Adrian Houser.
When the 2020 season started, Adrian Houser had the chance to become the true second ace of the Milwaukee Brewers starting pitching staff.
By the end of the shortened 60 game season, he was coming out of the bullpen and Corbin Burnes had cemented himself as the new #2.
There is a good chance Houser will be in the starting rotation in 2021. But depending on free agency, he might find himself as the number five starter or back to the bullpen.
Adrian Houser 2020 Report Card
Houser’s first two starts of the season were fantastic. Even after a rain delay, Adrian’s first start on July 27th went five innings and he gave up only one hit. It was a home run, but the Brewers came back and won and Houser didn’t take the loss.
His second start was even better, throwing a seven inning shutout. He gave up only five hits and could pitched longer. Even at only 87 pitches, the Brewers needed the win. So, Craig Counsell brought in Devin Williams and Josh Hader to finish it off.
Unfortunately, that August 5th game would be his only recorded win of the season. Houser ended with a record of 1-6 and a 5.30 ERA over 11 starts and one bullpen appearance.
He averaged five innings per start, and averaged three and a half earned runs after that second start. His ERA wasn’t good, and could have been even higher.
It wasn’t just the NL Central teams that have seen him before that did the damage either. He faced the Detroit Tigers twice and Kansas City Royals. He gave up five runs both times he faced Detroit.
Houser finished the 2019 season with a record of 6-7 and a 3.72 ERA. He did spend half of the year in the bullpen, getting his first start on July 1st. Houser had a great August 2019, giving up only eight runs over five starts.
Houser has shown flashes of brilliance two years in a row now. Much like Corbin Burnes, it is hard to give up on homegrown pitching talent. Adrian has never truly had a regular full year of starting pitching to get a full picture. But, it wasn’t great, and some of those starts cost the Milwaukee Brewers ballgames.
I do believe he will start in the rotation in 2021. I don’t know if the Brewers will pick up Brett Anderson’s option. But if they do, the rotation will probably be Brandon Woodruff, Burnes, Anderson and Josh Lindblom. Houser could easily be number four or five.
Now, say the Brewers sign a big name starting pitcher and either sign another or trade for one. If Anderson isn’t brought back, that leaves Houser at the bottom of the rotation or the odd man out if someone like Eric Lauer has an amazing Spring Training.
Only time will tell. I will be rooting for him all the way. I was honestly very conflicted between a C- and a D+. But ultimately, I gave him the C- because of he showed some potential and had some quality starts thrown in.
It’s still possible that the top of the Milwaukee Brewers rotation could be all from the Brewers system. That would be impressive and great to see.