Brewers Projected Opening Day Starting Rotation (5)
Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, Adrian Houser, Eric Lauer
Other Candidates: Aaron Ashby, Ethan Small
Do we even need to go into detail when it comes to the Brewers projected starting rotation? The five players who are expected to toe the rubber to open the first five games of Milwaukee’s regular season rate among the best in all of baseball.
Reigning NL Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta combine to form a three-headed monster atop the rotation that will strike fear into opposing lineups. And each coming off career years, Adrian Houser and Eric Lauer won’t make things any easier.
The big question is whether the Crew starts the season with a six-man rotation or not, at which point Aaron Ashby likely joins the group. For now, though, we’ll assume he begins the season in the bullpen until we hear otherwise.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell has stated this spring that top 10 Milwaukee prospect Ethan Small will likely see starts for the team this season. That will probably be later in the year, though, so he is predicted to be off the roster for now.
Brewers Projected Opening Day Bullpen (9)
Josh Hader, Devin Williams, Brad Boxberger, Jake Cousins, Brent Suter, Aaron Ashby, Jandel Gustave, Trevor Gott, Miguel Sanchez
Other Candidates: J.C. Mejia, Hoby Milner, Angel Perdomo, Luis Perdomo
The 2022 Milwaukee Brewers bullpen actually has a few spots possibly up for grabs this year. So, let’s take a look at which players are locks first.
The back end of the bullpen is set. Closer Josh Hader and setup man Devin Williams, winners of the last four NL Reliever of the Year awards, are back. The Crew’s 2021 leader in appearances, Brad Boxberger, also returns after signing a new deal in free agency.
Ashby also claims a bullpen spot, as was previously mentioned. You can also pencil in two more on to the roster in long-time Brewers reliever Brent Suter as well as Jake Cousins, who was quite impressive in his first year in the majors in 2021.
The final three bullpen spots (assuming the Brewers go with the 14-14 split in hitters to pitchers) will arguably the toughest to project on the entire roster. The most likely pitcher to snag one of them is probably newcomer Trevor Gott, due to the fact that he has no minor league options remaining.
We’ll give the next one to Jandel Gustave. While he didn’t always pitch in the highest leverage of situations in 2021, he had some of the better 2021 numbers of the remaining pitchers on the list (14 games, 3.44 ERA, 1.091 WHIP).
For the final spot, we’ll go with Miguel Sanchez. While he was average in 2021, he saw the mound 28 times for the Crew last season. He’s also thrown three scoreless innings this spring and given up just a single walk, which is a pretty good start to an audition for a roster spot.
Hoby Milner saw plenty of time last year and will have a good chance to be the first man up when the Brewers need to shuffle relievers. Angel Perdomo and J.C. Mejia appear to need a little more seasoning. Keep an eye on Luis Perdomo as well, who has looked good early this spring and could claim one of the final spots if he continues to do so.
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Even though just nine Cactus League games remain on the schedule, there is still plenty that could happen between now and the beginning of the regular season. We’ll see if these projections hold strong, or if some strong spring training performances decide to shake things up.