Across the league the Milwaukee Brewers are well known for having an elite-level bullpen. This of course is headlined by Josh Hader, who has been dominant to begin this year, and Devin Williams the reigning NL Rookie of the year and NL Reliever of the year.
To begin the 2021 season Wisconsin native J.P. Feyereisen had emerged as the 7th inning bridge man. However he was recently traded to the Tampa Bay Rays along with reliever Drew Rasmussen. With neither Brad Boxberger, Brent Suter, or any other relievers have stepped up to take the 7th inning role, so now there is a sudden need to once restock the bullpen
One target the Brewers should consider is Jeremy Jeffress. We have seen the Brewers take reunite with former players such as Travis Shaw and Hernan Perez, so why not Jeffress?
Jeffress has thrived in a Brewers uniform. With Milwaukee, he has a career 2.66 ERA whereas everywhere else he has a combined 4.76 ERA. His best season was in 2018 when he posted a 1.29 ERA in 73 appearances.
Now 33 years old, Jeffress last pitched for the Cubs in 2020 where in a shortened season he posted a 1.54 ERA in 23 innings pitched. He excelled at limiting barrels for he was in the 91st percentile in this category.
He had tremendous confidence in his split-finger changeup in 2020. It was his most used pitch and throughout his career when that pitch is working he is normally performing well.
The biggest knock on his 2020 season was his xERA was 4.64. This indicates that he got quite lucky and maybe was not as great as his peripheral stats indicated. He did issue 12 free passes during this season and seemingly was constantly dealing with runners on base, so this makes sense.
It’s very possible that Jeffress could sign a minor league contract to return to the Brewers in 2021.
His bullpen spot wouldn’t be guaranteed, but given the lackluster performances from other members of the bullpen he could easily find himself on the major league roster quickly.
The Brewers have been shuttling players such as Angel Perdomo, Patrick Weigel, Alec Bettinger, and others around a ton so far this season between the major and minor leagues. For Jeffress to come in and lock down a bullpen spot would be huge. We know how impactful Jeffress’ performances can be. During the 2018 season, the Brewers fell just shy of of the World Series and he was the primary closer that season.
To acquire a veteran player with as much high leverage experience as Jeffress at this point in the season seems like a great low-risk, high-reward gamble. The biggest question now is whether or not David Stearns will pull the trigger on another former Brewers or not.