Brewers: Are 2021 Relief Pitcher Stat Projections “Fair” or “Foul?”

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 18: Josh Hader #71 of the Milwaukee Brewers throws a pitch during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Miller Park on September 18, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 18: Josh Hader #71 of the Milwaukee Brewers throws a pitch during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Miller Park on September 18, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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PEORIA, ARIZONA – MARCH 03: Starting pitcher Drew Rasmussen #43 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches against the San Diego Padres during the MLB spring training game on March 03, 2021 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Drew Rasmussen

Projection: 3-2 / 4.50 ERA / 46.0 IP / 2.63 K/BB / 1.348 WHIP

Ruling: Foul

This one might be a little too optimistic but given what I’ve seen in the last month from Drew Rasmussen I think these numbers are foul. Not to mention, he had a stretch of six games in September last season where he didn’t allow a single run.

He has the stuff to be a successful pitcher in this league. So far in Spring, he’s pitched nine and one third innings and has an ERA of 2.89 with 11 punchouts. He’s also only allowed four hits in those nine plus innings. He looks to be ready for Opening Day.

Rasmussen has been in the discussion for a starting spot here and there with his innings getting stretched out, so yet again it’s tough to project a record. His ERA should be closer to four, I believe, as he’s still early in his MLB career and he’ll figure things out to help him get guys out.

I think his innings will definitely be higher as he’s already been stretched out in Cactus League play to see if he has a role as a starter in the future. And his strikeout numbers are just too good right now to see that number where it is for strikeout to walk ratio. I’ll say 4-3, a 4.08 ERA, 66.0 IP, 2.81 K/BB, and a 1.294 WHIP.

Brad Boxberger

Projection: 3-4 / 4.50 ERA / 52.0 IP / 2.16 K/BB / 1.404 WHIP

Ruling: Fair

Nothing that I’ve seen from Brad Boxberger so far in seven Cactus League appearances makes me believe he will do much better than this projection. He did have a pretty solid 2020 campaign with his lowest ERA since 2014 at 3.00 but in 2021, he has one of the highest ERA’s on the club at 10.29. Boxberger will start in the minors but expect him to be one of the first call ups if someone in the bullpen struggles or gets injured.

The interesting thing is he’s looked good in the games in which he hasn’t given up a run. He’s gotten at least one strikeout in every game he’s pitched in so far this spring so the stuff is there, he just needs to avoid the longball.

In the advanced analytics side of it he’s a pretty average pitcher, so if he struggles, look for the Crew to act quickly and look at bringing up one of the many young promising arms in the minors. We’ll find out fairly quickly whether his season with the Marlins last year was a fluke or not, but I don’t have any problem with these predictions.

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