RHP Peter Strzelecki
Prior to Payamps taking over the role, Peter Strzelecki, who was a nice surprise out of the bullpen in 2022, got first shot at eighth inning duties. And at first, that plan seemed to be working out perfectly as he gave up just one run over 13.2 innings in March and April. Then, things took a turn for the worse.
Through 36 outings, Strzelecki is 3-5 with a 4.54 ERA and one blown save. It's not as though he's given up many hits and walks as his 1.178 WHIP can attest, but he has still had control issues as his eight hit by pitches lead the NL even though he was optioned to the minors in late June. Hopefully all he needs is a reset as he was expected to be an important part of the Milwaukee bullpen.
RHP Bryse Wilson
No one quite knew what Bryse Wilson's role would be with the Brewers if he were able to make the team out of spring after being acquired from the Pirates last offseason. With experience as a starter and reliever the previous season, it was possible he could fulfill either role or even be some sort of a swingman.
Well so far, all of Wilson's outings have come out of the bullpen and it has resulted in by far his most effective season of his career. In 30 appearances, the 25-year-old has a 2.70 ERA, well below his career season best of 4.02 in 2020, and a 1.062 WHIP. He hasn't always pitched in the highest leverage of situations but has been a Swiss Army Knife, maving made appearances in every inning from the fourth to extras.
Relievers with Incomplete Grades
Those six relievers have by far captured a majority of work out of Milwaukee's bullpen in 2023, accounting for a whopping 73.6% of the team's total relief appearances. The rest have been spread across 18 other pitchers, none of which have appeared more than 14 times this season.
Among the ones who have appeared but are already no longer with the organization are Matt Bush, Javy Guerra, Rule 5 pick Gus Varland, Tyson Miller and Thomas Pannone. Others such as Jake Cousins, Bennett Sousa, and Ethan Small are currently on the injured list. Trevor Megill, J.B. Bukauskas, and Clayton Andrews are ready when needed at Triple-A while electric pitching prospect Abner Uribe got his first shot in the majors just before the All-Star break and looks like an exciting one to watch.
And with that, our series of first half grades for the 2023 Milwaukee Brewers comes to a close. All eyes now move to the second half of the season, the trade deadline, and a possible push back to the postseason.