Brewers Projected Opening Day Starting Rotation (5)
Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, Josh Lindblom, Brett Anderson, Adrian Houser
Other Candidates: Freddy Peralta, Eric Lauer, Aaron Ashby, Jordan Zimmermann
Coming off a shortened season, the Brewers could go with a six man rotation, or have some tandem starts with other pitchers who are also being stretched out this spring. However, since that has not been solidified as the plan to start, we’ll just mention the traditional five man rotation.
Woodruff and Burnes are entrenched atop the rotation, although who is starting Opening Day hasn’t been decided yet. Lindblom and Anderson are the veterans that will fill out the rotation with innings.
Adrian Houser is the current leader in the clubhouse for the final starting rotation job but Freddy Peralta is putting together quite a strong run. In 3.2 IP, Peralta has struck out 10 batters. He’s gotten 11 outs, and 10 have been via the strikeout. He’s also allowed just three hits and zero runs.
Houser hasn’t been a slouch though, performing fairly well in his outings, but Peralta’s dominance has been impressive. Perhaps Peralta can overtake Houser for the fifth starter job by the end of spring training, but at the moment, Houser is likely still ahead.
Eric Lauer had a shot at that job, but he hasn’t looked good in his outings this spring.
Aaron Ashby has been quite impressive himself, and he survived the first round of camp cuts. It’s unlikely he ends up making the roster, but he’s made an impression and could see big league time later this season.
Brewers Projected Opening Day Bullpen (9)
Josh Hader, Devin Williams, Brent Suter, Freddy Peralta, Justin Topa, Drew Rasmussen, Brad Boxberger, J.P. Feyereisen, Eric Yardley
Other Candidates: Miguel Sanchez, Eric Lauer, Phil Bickford, Bobby Wahl, Ray Black, Angel Perdomo
The only change in the bullpen from our first prediction to this one is the addition of J.P. Feyereisen. He was on the outside looking in before, but now he makes the roster.
In four innings of Cactus League play, Feyereisen has not allowed a single baserunner and has struck out seven. He was going to be a member of this bullpen throughout the season regardless, but with his strong showing this spring, he deserves a spot on the Opening Day roster.
The Brewers have a large number of worthy bullpen candidates and having nine pitchers back there gives Craig Counsell an incredible amount of flexibility to mix and match for every game, always having some that are well rested. Rasmussen, Suter, and Peralta are all being stretched out to go multiple innings.
Boxberger has pitched well as a non-roster invitee this spring and is likely to earn a spot. The Brewers like having at least one veteran arm in the bullpen, and that’s especially important considering the relative inexperience of the rest of the group.
Miguel Sanchez has impressed this spring, but he’s not on the 40 man and is still young. He might have worked his way into the bullpen shuttle this season between Milwaukee and Triple-A Nashville, but he’s likely to start on the Nashville end of the shuttle.
Eric Lauer has had a rough spring and the Brewers may elect to send him to Triple-A to get stretched out as a starter and work on his stuff since he still has minor league options.
Ray Black has been dealing with an arm issue but could be back in game action later this week. Still, he’s missed some time, and he hasn’t been that impressive so far. Without minor league options remaining, Black could be a cut candidate to make room for Boxberger on the roster.
We’re just a few short weeks away from the beginning of the regular season. Could this be what the Brewers roster looks like that day?