With all of the off days peppered through the past couple weeks in the schedule, the Brewers have been able to get by without a 5th starter, which is why Brandon Woodruff was the one to be sent back to Triple-A when Chase Anderson was ready to come off of the disabled list.
At the time, it felt like it would be a short stay in Colorado Springs for Woodruff, since the next time the Brewers would need that 5th starter would be after September 1st, when rosters expand. The Brewers confirmed that today, announcing Woodruff will start this Saturday against the Washington Nationals.
RHP Brandon Woodruff will return to the rotation on Saturday vs. Washington.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) August 30, 2017
Woodruff saw good results in his first three career starts, even if his command was spotty at times. He struck out 12 in 16.2 innings, allowing just 3 earned runs despite working through plenty of traffic on the bases due to 15 hits and 8 walks.
In his one appearance since the demotion back to Triple-A, he was limited to 50 pitches but didn't allow a run in 2.2 innings before being relieved by Michael Blazek.
If you want to read between some lines, it's interesting the team's official Twitter account used the phrasing "return to the rotation," instead of simply announcing him as Saturday's starter. That would seem to imply he'll be taking the ball every 5th day for the rest of the month, barring him hitting a yet-to-be-announced innings limit. He should be in solid shape on that front, though, considering he threw 158 innings last year and has only accumulated 77.1 this year due to his DL stint earlier in the season.
As for who will follow Woodruff in the rotation and pitch in Sunday's series finale against Washington, it appears that will still be Matt Garza, despite a wildly-inconsistent-at-best month of August.
Following another painful outing Tuesday night in which he gave up 6 runs (but only 3 earned due to several defensive miscues) and allowed 10 baserunners while recording 10 outs, Counsell gave a less-than-solid endorsement:
Counsell, asked about Garza's next scheduled start on Sunday: "Right now, that’s what we are doing."— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) August 30, 2017
Asked if that could change after reinforcements come in September, possibly in the form of Junior Guerra or Taylor Jungmann, Counsell had this to offer:
"I think moving forward, we have to examine everything. ... We're looking at how to arrange the rotation right now. We'll take a look at that going forward."
With the September schedule packed with potentially pivotal division matchups, including 7 games with the Chicago Cubs, the Brewers will have to decide if Garza's tightrope act will be worth whatever veteran presence they feel he brings.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference