The Brewers have had a very strong back end of the bullpen for quite a while now and Joel Payamps has been a large part of that. He started the year in low leverage spots, but earned his way to the regular 8th inning setup job. Unfortunately, he shouldn't hold that job much longer.
Over the course of the season, the Brewers have had several 8th inning go-to guys. Matt Bush was that guy early in the season, then lost that job. Then it was Peter Strzelecki for a bit before he struggled, and then Joel Payamps took over and the job has been his for quite some time.
Now, Payamps needs to be moved aside from that role for someone else.
Joel Payamps' struggles in September should push Craig Counsell to take him out of the setup role and install someone else.
In Payamps' last 15 outings, he has a 5.65 ERA in 14.1 IP with eight walks and nine earned runs. It's not just one blow up outing either, allowing runs in six of his last 14 games, including three of the last four after Saturday.
Payamps is in uncharted territory. He's made 67 appearances this year and has thrown 68.2 IP, both career highs by far. His previous bests were last year with 41 appearances and 55.2 IP. It's becoming clear that he's running out of gas and the Brewers need to get him to rest for a bit in order to re-fill the tank. In order to do that, he needs to be removed from the 8th inning role.
Counsell called upon Payamps on Saturday in his usual 8th inning spot and ran into trouble quickly. A wild pitch put the Marlins on top 5-4 and that was enough for Miami to get the win and hold the Brewers off from celebrating an NL Central title.
Entering the final week of the regular season and the playoffs soon after, Craig Counsell needs to go with his most trustworthy arms in the high leverage spots and right now, Payamps is not a trustworthy arm.
Payamps has been great all season and a huge surprise for this bullpen. He earned that 8th inning job. But bullpen arms are always volatile. Sometimes it's year to year volatility, sometimes it's within the same season.
The best alignment for the Brewers bullpen right now does not have Payamps in the setup job. Abner Uribe has proven himself a capable high leverage arm. Trevor Megill has been solid and earning higher leverage spots as well.
Over the last month and a half, almost everyone on this team has stepped up and improved their play. Payamps is one of the few who hasn't and that needs to result in a demotion from his 8th inning role. He has a career high workload and it's showing. Give him some rest over the final week, maybe use him in one or two low leverage spots and let one of the more productive arms right now take over the setup role ahead of Devin Williams.