Even with a familiar set of faces returning in the Brewers bullpen in 2021, there were some key bullpen roles up for grabs going into this season. One of them has potentially been grabbed by one of Wisconsin’s own native sons.
After a fantastic spring training, Wisconsin native J.P. Feyereisen has been used in many pivotal game situations throughout this first week of the regular season. He is emerging as a valuable piece of this Brewers bullpen and is looking to expand upon his role after making his second straight Opening Day roster.
Reliever J.P. Feyereisen and outfielder Billy McKinney performed well in spring training and earned spots on the Brewers’ opening day roster. https://t.co/i4aXds2tSw
After posting a 0.93 ERA and 17:2 K:BB in spring training this year, Feyereisen entered the regular season with a full steam of confidence and his sights set upon being a key setup man/bridge to Devin Williams and Josh Hader. To date, he has not been used in that role, but there are a few moments that stick out so far.
With four appearances this season, Feyereisen has had a major impact on the game every time he has pitched. Against the Twins on opening day, he pitched a scoreless inning which set up the opportunity for the Brewers to come back and win the game. In the Corbin Burnes vs Jose Berrios duel, Feyereisen retired Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, and Miguel Sano in order in the 9th inning.
During the Cubs series opener, he cleaned up Devin Williams’ mess by stranding two runners on base. In the series finale, he was called upon to pick up a 10th inning save, recorded two quick outs, but then needed teammate Brad Boxberger‘s help to record the final out of the game.
With those outings in the books, fans have seen J.P. Feyereisen emerging as a key bullpen piece for the Brewers.
Feyereisen has yet to surrender an earned run this season and has been striking out a fair amount of batters. Perhaps one of the biggest difference makers so far has been his increased confidence in his breaking ball, the slider.
In a shortened sample size, Feyereisen has utilized his slider the most. He has thrown it 30 times and is yet to surrender a hit off of it. With a 41% whiff rate so far, I recommend that he continue to throw this pitch!
Is it possible that Feyereisen builds his way up as the bridge man to shutdown relievers Devin Williams and Josh Hader?
With Freddy Peralta presumably in the starting rotation until proven otherwise, the role is Feyereisen’s to take. Boxberger is another candidate to bridge that gap and so is Drew Rasmussen. Unfortunately Rasmussen is off to a shaky start to the season and the early edge should go to Feyereisen.
The Brewers bullpen has historically been very good under Craig Counsell and Feyereisen is aiming to be one of his trusted arms. Based on his play in spring training and the regular season so far, I’d say he is well on his way to doing just that.