Every season on September 1st, Major League Baseball teams are allowed to expand their 25 man active rosters. Each club has the ability to bring up to 15 additional players to the big leagues with a full 40 man roster. Teams almost never call up that many players, of course, but this is a time of year when contenders may call up a couple of power bench bats, additional relief help, or base stealing specialists that may give them an edge in September; a rebuilding team, on the other hand, could use this time to reward players who have performed well during the minor league season or as a chance to get a look at some of their best young prospects against big league competition. Last season our beloved Milwaukee Brewers fell into the rebuilder category, but this year they are right in the thick of things in both the NL Central and Wild Card races.
Call ups often come in waves, with perhaps a couple of players coming right away on the first of September and then more reinforcements once the minor league season (and playoffs, if a team qualifies) is officially in the books. We know that the AAA Sky Sox have already punched their ticket to the postseason, which could potentially delay a few call ups until later in the month. Milwaukee’s 40 man roster is also currently full, which means that if they want to bring any non-40 man players up to the big leagues, corresponding moves will need to be made.
So, who might we see get the call up to Milwaukee? Earlier this week, we discussed the hitters that could come up in September. Today, we’ll focus on the pitchers that we may see during the final month of the season:
Players on the 40 man roster
RHP Aaron Brooks
Claimed off waivers by the Brewers about two weeks ago, Brooks threw 4.0 shutout innings for the Sky Sox in his organizational debut. The 27 year old control specialist throws 5 pitches (four-seam, sinker, slider, changeup, curveball), has 15 career MLB appearances under his belt, and owns a 6.02 ERA/5.33 FIP with 106 K and 28 BB in 142.0 innings in AAA this year.
RHP Junior Guerra
The #2016BrewersAce was anything but that this year, missing time with multiple injuries while posting a 4.96 ERA/6.97 FIP in 61.2 MLB innings before getting demoted to AAA in late July. He’s compiled a 1.86 ERA/3.92 FIP with 10 K and 8 BB in 19.1 innings since heading back to the minors.
RHP Taylor Jungmann
Jungmann began the year in Milwaukee’s bullpen but was demoted after Opening Day. He’s been a starter in the minor leagues this year, posting a 3.22 ERA/4.29 FIP with 108 K and 55 BB in 117.1 innings between AA and AAA this season.
RHP Jorge Lopez
Not too long ago, Lopez was considered one of the top starting pitching prospects in the organization. But after a tough 2016 and first few months of 2017, Lopez was converted to relief. He’s thrown 2.0 innings in the MLB this year, allowing 1 run, and has authored a 2.73 ERA/2.94 FIP with 29 K and 10 BB in 33.0 innings for AA Biloxi since moving to the bullpen in June.
LHP Wei-Chung Wang
The former Rule 5 draft pick made his first return to the big leagues since 2014 this year, albeit a brief one (1 appearance, 2 pitches, no outs). He’s been excellent out of the bullpen for Colorado Springs, posting a 2.05 ERA/4.03 FIP with 48 K and 12 BB in 57.0 innings.
LHP Tyler Webb
The Brewers picked up Webb in a minor trade with the Yankees earlier this summer. He allowedL 2 earned runs (of his own, at least) in 2.0 innings with Milwaukee before getting demoted to AAA, where he’s compiled a 6.14 ERA/5.76 FIP with 15 K and 7 BB in 14.2 innings.
RHP Taylor Williams
Back on the mound after missing two full seasons with Tommy John surgery, Williams has authored a 3.22 ERA/2.72 FIP with 55 K and 21 BB in 44.2 innings for AA Biloxi. He’s been very limited this season, never throwing more than 65 pitches in an appearance. The Brewers had him on a schedule of once every 5 days earlier in the year, but lately he’s been going only 2 or 3 days between appearances. Still, it might be unlikely that we see him this month given how careful the org has been with his recovery process.
RHP Brandon Woodruff
The Brewers have already announced that Woodruff will be rejoining the starting rotation on Saturday. He debuted in the big leagues earlier this season and so far has put together a 1.62 ERA/4.09 FIP with 12 K and 8 BB in 16.2 innings.
Players on the Disabled List:
LHP Brent Suter
Suter had been shuffling back and forth between the big leagues and AAA earlier this year, but had a nice stretch in the MLB rotation before hitting the DL with a balky shoulder. He’s on rehab assignment now and the plan is for him to rejoin the team right away on September 1st. The soft-tossing lefty has compiled a 3.79 ERA/4.02 FIP with 49 K and 18 BB in 59.1 innings this season and could be used either as a starter or out of the bullpen.
Other Potential Non-40 Man Roster Players
RHP Rob Scahill
Scahill has tossed 22.1 innings for the Brewers this year, posting a 4.43 ERA/5.73 FIP. He’s been outrighted off the 40 man roster a couple of times and has accepted assignments to AAA, where he’s authored a much more effective 1.14 ERA/3.29 FIP in 23.2 innings pitched.
LHP Nick Ramirez
Drafted as a first baseman back in 2011, Ramirez converted to the mound this season for AA Biloxi (he was also a closer in college). The 28 year old has been outstanding, posting a 1.42 ERA/3.44 FIP in 76.0 innings with 53 K and 24 BB. If Ramirez isn’t added to the 40 man roster this winter, he’ll be eligible for minor league free agency.
RHP Wily Peralta
The “former 17 game winner” has posted decent results since Milwaukee outrighted him in early August, posting a 3.14 ERA/4.20 FIP in 14.1 innings for the Sky Sox. His K/BB ratio of 10:9 is ugly, though, and he of course compiled a 7.85 ERA in the MLB this season before getting waived. Maybe the Brewers will give him one more chance before they likely non-tender him in the winter.
RHP Bowdien Derby
One of the players that came back in the Khris Davis trade with Oakland, Derby has been excellent as a swingman this season between AA and AAA. He’s pitched 29 times this year, starting in 13 of those appearances, and has compiled a 3.16 ERA/3.69 FIP with 90 K and 36 BB in 108.1 innings pitched between the two levels.
RHP Aaron Wilkerson
Acquired from the Red Sox last year as part of the Aaron Hill deal, the 28 year old Wilkerson has been one of the top pitchers in AA this year. He’s posted a 3.17 ERA/3.08 FIP in 136.1 innings for Biloxi with 137 K and 35 BB.
RHP Jon Perrin
A 27th round pick by Milwaukee back in 2015, Perrin has moved quickly through the system to reach AA. The 24 year old missed some time this year but has posted a 3.19 ERA/3.33 FIP with 83 K and only 19 BB in 96.0 innings pitched for the Shuckers this season.
RHP Michael Blazek
Blazek has made 5 appearances for Milwaukee this year, though his last one was historically bad and he’s allowed 8 earned runs in 8.2 innings at that level this season. He’s been solid in AAA as both a starter and reliever, though, authoring a 3.39 ERA/4.15 FIP with 64 K and 32 BB in 82.1 innings pitched.
RHP Forrest Snow
Signed as a splitter-throwing minor league free agent this past winter, Snow has shuffled back and forth between AA and AAA this season. He’s performed well, too, posting a 3.83 ERA/3.34 FIP with 99 K and 26 BB in 80.0 innings as both a starter and reliever.
RHP Angel Ventura
Signed as an international free agent back in 2011, Ventura will be eligible for minor league free agency this winter at age 24. If Milwaukee doesn’t add him to their 40 man he should have no shortage of suitors given his youth and 3.93 ERA/4.72 FIP with 87:48 K/BB ratio in 126.0 innings between AA and AAA this season.
RHP Josh Uhen
The flame throwing righty represented the Brewers in the Arizona Fall League last year and turned that into a strong season with Biloxi in 2017. The Wisconsin native and UW-Oshkosh product has produced a 3.95 ERA/3.05 FIP with 52 K and 23 BB in 54.2 innings pitched this season.
RHP Tristan Archer
Archer has split time between AA and AAA this year, though he’s spent a majority of his time in Colorado Springs. Between the two stops, the 26 year old former 21st round pick has posted a 4.04 ERA/3.76 FIP with 62 K and 20 BB in 69.0 very nice innings.
RHP David Goforth
The 28 year old right-hander has appeared in the big leagues for Milwaukee each of the past three seasons, including just one game this season back in April. He’s spent most of the year in Colorado Springs after being outrighted, cobbling together a 4.47 ERA/5.99 FIP with 34 K and 25 BB in 48.1 innings pitched.
RHP Tim Dillard
Dillard hasn’t been all that effective this season in AAA Colorado Springs, posting a 5.49 ERA/4.83 FIP in 59.0 innings. His popularity among fans continues to grow with each sidesplitting video he posts online, however, and I’d be surprised if the Brewers didn’t “call him up” like they did last season to contribute to their social media staff in September.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs