Brewers: 3 Early Reasons to Be Excited for the 2022 Season
2. The Brewers should return one of the top starting pitcher trios in the entire league.
Milwaukee has had their fair share of pitching studs over recent seasons, which is quite the relief for fans who watched the team during their down years. But for a while, that was a fact that applied to the bullpen more than it did the starting rotation.
During the team’s 2018 playoff season, much of the talk revolved around the Brewers’ three-headed bullpen monster of Corey Knebel, Jeremy Jeffress, and Josh Hader. If the game got to those three with their team in the lead, good luck.
Hader would keep looking dominant over the next couple seasons, being joined by midseason acquisition Drew Pomeranz in 2019 and the Airbender-throwing Devin Williams in 2020 to continue making the Brewer bullpen a menace to opposing batters.
2020 saw something else start to emerge as well, though. A young trio would start to establish themselves as key contributors for the Brewers pitching staff.
Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes would wind up forming a fearsome one-two punch in the starting rotation by the end of the shortened 2020 season. Meanwhile, Freddy Peralta would finish the season strong as a reliever after early struggles as a starter.
All three would start the 2021 season as members of Milwaukee’s starting rotation with Woodruff and Burnes at the front end and Peralta at the back end. By the end of the season, they were being talked about as one of the very best starting trios in all of MLB.
Burnes, in particular, emerged as one of the best starting pitchers in all of baseball. With a 7.5 fWAR, 2.43 ERA, and 12.61 K/9 that led all qualified MLB starters, he has a great chance at being the Brewers’ first Cy Young award winner since Pete Vuckovich in 1982.
Woodruff wasn’t far behind him with a 4.7 fWAR, 2.56 ERA, and 10.59 K/9. Neither was Peralta and his 4.0 fWAR, 2.81 ERA, and 12.16 K/9, not to mention a miniscule .164 batting average against that would have led the league had he pitched enough innings to qualify.
Luckily for Brewers fans, none of those three should be going anywhere soon. While Peralta signed a contract extension prior to the 2020 season, Burnes and Woodruff find themselves entering their first and second years of arbitration, respectively.
Unless one of the most shocking trades in franchise history takes place over the offseason, Brewers fans should be very excited to watch this trio continue its dominance in 2022.