Rotating Brewers closer's role appears one-sided to start the season

One young hurler has gotten the first crack at closing in each of the team's first two wins.
Mar 29, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Abner Uribe (45)
Mar 29, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Abner Uribe (45) / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the spring, a number of roles on the Milwaukee Brewers squad were up for grabs. One area where that was definitely not the case, though, was the closer's role.

Devin Williams took ownership of that job in 2022 after the Brewers traded away previous closer Josh Hader. 2023 would be Williams' first full year at the helm and he unsurprisingly flourished, earning an All-Star bid and winning NL Reliever of the Year.

Williams was set to dominate hitters again in 2024 before the injury bug decided to intervene. It would be revealed that the righty had two stress fractures in his back and now will end up being on the injured list for around half the season.

This immediately brought up the question of who might fill Williams' shoes. Though there were some relievers that appeared to be better fits for the job than others, Brewers manager Pat Murphy stated this spring that they might take a "fireman's" approach at closer, as in anyone could be called upon to put out the fire.

The Brewers are now two games in to the 2024 season and have already had two "fires" to put out in those games. As it so happens, Murphy has actually gone to the same arm to close out the team's first two wins.

It's very early, but Abner Uribe has gotten first crack at the Brewers' closer role.

Of the players who could eventually step in for Williams at closer, Abner Uribe always felt like one of the best candidates. With a fastball that can break 100 mph and some nasty breaking pitches, his propensity to rack up strikeouts had future closer written all over it.

Uribe made his much anticipated debut halfway through the 2023 season and he did not disappoint. In 30.2 innings, he had a 1.76 ERA, 1.174 WHIP, and struck out batters at a 11.4 K/9 clip.

There were still questions, however, as to how he might do stepping into a higher leverage role. Uribe would have to continue to reign in the control issues that had plagued him as he ascended the minors. He would also need to keep his emotions in check, not easy to do for so young of a player.

Murphy appears to have trust in Uribe, though, and that has paid off through two games. Uribe threw a 1-2-3 ninth to save the team's first game on Friday. Then, after giving up a one-out solo homer as part of a late Mets rally, he settled down to strike out the next two batters and start the Brewers out 2-0 on the season.

We're just two games into the season and Murphy could still opt to rotate pitchers through the closer's role. But early on, it looks like a young fireballer might have first dibs on the job for himself.