Predicting the Milwaukee Brewers 2023 Opening Day Bullpen
The Milwaukee Brewers bullpen to begin the 2023 season is going to look drastically different than it did to begin the 2022 season. Gone already is Josh Hader who was dealt at last year's trade deadline. However the Brewers lost a ton of innings from their bullpen to free agency. Brad Boxberger, Trevor Gott, Brent Suter, Taylor Rogers and a few others are gone from the relief options the Milwaukee Brewers have to employ for 2023.
That being said, the Brewers have brought in a lot of potential options, some new, some familiar. Wade Miley and Alex Claudio, two former Brewers are back with the team. Claudio is on a minor league deal, while Miley is likely to at least begin the year in the rotation while Aaron Ashby is hurt.
New faces include Joel Payamps, Bryse Wilson, Elvis Peguero, Javy Guerra, Janson Junk, Gus Varland and Tyson Miller. The Milwaukee Brewers also have some young arms on the 40 man roster likely to be in AAA with Nashville, like Abner Uribe, Cam Robinson, and Colin Rea.
Let's start with the late inning relievers who are already essentially locked into their roles.
Milwaukee Brewers 2023 Bullpen: High leverage
There's no doubt in anyone's mind that the Milwaukee Brewers 2023 closer is Devin Williams. Williams passes both the eye test, and the metrics test, Williams is in the 99th or 100th percentiles in countless metrics tracked by Baseball Savant. Devin Williams is locked in to the 9th inning role.
To fill the role of Brad Boxberger, a pitcher who can navigate the 7th and 8th innings in high pressure situations, it comes down to two players, Matt Bush, one of the players the Brewers acquired at last year's deadline, and Hoby Milner, a revelation in the bullpen for the Brewers in 2022.
Bush seems the more likely candidate as he's got some stronger pitches, a lower ERA and WHIP, and a higher whiff rate. With that in mind, Hoby Milner is certainly due for a more prominent role in the later innings of games after pitching primarily in middle relief last season, he's certainly earned it and will slot in well as a 7th inning reliever for the Milwaukee Brewers.