Here are four players who must step up if the Brewers want to make the 2022 MLB playoffs.
2. RHP Adrian Houser
This season, it was no secret that the key to the Brewers’ success would be having the offense do just enough to support what was to be an elite starting rotation. Unfortunately, that rotation has been good, but not quite as dominant as many expected.
The weakest link for much of the season has been Adrian Houser. Though the right-hander was one of many Brewers starters coming off a career year in 2021 (10-6, 3.22 ERA, 1.279 WHIP), he wasn’t able to repeat that success early in this season.
Through the end of June, Houser saw himself sitting with a 4-8 record, a 4.72 ERA, a 1.480 WHIP, and a .271 batting average against. To make things worse, he would be lifted early from his start on June 30th and placed on the injured list the next day with a right flexor strain.
Houser wouldn’t return until August 24th, when he would give up five runs in a start that lasted just 2.1 innings. It was possibly a bit early of a return for the starter, but one that was necessary as the team had just lost fellow starter Aaron Ashby to the IL two days earlier.
Houser would be briefly removed from the rotation before returning for a start on September 5th against the Rockies. Though that outing would start out roughly with the righty giving up three runs to the first seven batters, things finally clicked after that.
Houser would retire the final 15 batters he faced that day en route to a 6-4 Brewers win. He would follow that up a start that saw him give up just a run on a hit and two walks over six innings in another Brewers victory,
That is the Adrian Houser that fans were hoping to see in 2022 and it will be critical that he continues a performance similar to that to finish the season. Milwaukee is not only still down Ashby in the starting rotation, but they are now missing Freddy Peralta and Eric Lauer as well.
That means Houser is now the No. 3 starter in the rotation behind the 1-2 punch of Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff. His last 10 innings of work have looked worthy of that status, and he’ll need to repeat that impressive work for the Brewers to not find themselves down early in his starts like earlier this season.