Could the Brewers get the reigning NL Reliever of the Year back from injury early?

Reports from Milwaukee's GM on the matter were quite encouraging.
Sep 10, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA;  Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Devin Williams (38) at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 10, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Devin Williams (38) at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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Injuries have been the big story of the Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff this season. A majority of those injuries took place during the 2024 season but some of them happened before the regular season even began.

One such injury was that of Brewers closer Devin Williams. Midway through spring training after experiencing back soreness, it was revealed that the former All-Star pitcher had stress fractures in his back and would be out until around the 2024 trade deadline.

This, of course, was a huge blow. The numbers speak for themselves: a career 1.89 ERA over parts of five MLB seasons, 54 career saves, including 36 in his first full season as a closer in 2023, and a career 39% strikeout rate. That's a lot of production to all of a sudden lose before the season begins.

As hard as it is to lose a player of that caliber, it makes for quite the de facto trade deadline acquisition to add that type of pitcher back into the bullpen. The only thing better than that would be adding said player even earlier.

The Brewers may get that wish as it's possible that Devin Williams could return to the team earlier in July.

Brewers GM Pat Murphy provided injury updates on a few different members of the Crew prior to Wednesday's series finale against the Rangers. Among them was a very positive one about Milwaukee's star closer.

Per Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Todd Rosiak, Arnold relayed that it is possible that Williams could return earlier than the mid-to-late July timeline that was originally planned. That means that a return could happen in roughly two weeks from now.

The back end of the Brewers bullpen has managed to get by in Williams' absence. At closer in particular, Trevor Megill and his 100 mph fastball have led the way with 16 saves, though seven other Milwaukee pitchers have tallied a save in 2024 as well.

But there is no replacing a pitcher like Williams. The 29-year-old is a two-time All-Star, a former NL Rookie of the Year, a two time winner of the Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year award, and as a relief pitcher has even earned an MVP vote in two different seasons.

With a pitcher like Williams back in tow, the Brewers bullpen should be even more dominant than it already has been. What a great boost to a team looking to eventually win it's second division title in a row.

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