Brewers Roster Battles: Bullpen Spots
The Brewers love their bullpen, and for good reason. They have relied heavily on it, and the bullpen has not disappointed. Craig Counsell has a knack for bringing out the best in relievers while they are here (Jordan Lyles, Drew Pomeranz), and don’t forget two of the most dominant relievers in the game: Josh Hader and Devin Williams.
But there are several players who are fighting for a bullpen spot. The Brewers have 11 pitchers in camp as non-roster invitees, and among those with the best shot of breaking camp with the team are Brad Boxberger and Blaine Hardy. Meanwhile, J.P. Feyereisen, Ray Black, and Bobby Wahl are three players who will also be battling for a bullpen spot.
Assuming the Brewers will carry an eight-man bullpen, there appears to be only one spot not accounted for. The Brewers have never been afraid of shuttling players back and forth, working to maximize usage of pitchers, and minimizing wear and tear on their arms.
Despite being a late signing, Boxberger appears to have the best chance to appear on the Opening Day roster. While you can never have too many left-handed arms, between Hader, Suter, and assuming Lauer is on the roster, it gets tougher to see a way for Hardy to make the team.
Feyereisen struggled in his small sample size this past season, and could make it back to Milwaukee at some point this season. Bobby Wahl only pitched 2.1 innings last season after coming back from a torn ACL, and could be a factor at some point this season. Ray Black has no options remaining, meaning if he does not make the Opening Day roster, he will be designated for assignment. Unfortunately for Black, that may be the fate coming, as he is on the outside looking in at this moment.
The Brewers rely heavily on the bullpen, and it has remained mostly the same from last season to this season, which will provide consistency, and continue to keep the team in games.