With the expansion of rosters today and the start of September, the Brewers were expected to call up several players to help the team through the stretch run. This morning, the team officially announced the moves:
LHP Brent Suter and C Andrew Susac have been reinstated from the 10-day disabled list.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 1, 2017
OF Brett Phillips, RHP Junior Guerra, LHP Wei-Chung Wang and RHP Brandon Woodruff have been recalled from Triple-A @skysox.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 1, 2017
RHP Taylor Williams (MLB debut) has been recalled from Double-A @BiloxiShuckers.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 1, 2017
The one surprise in here is Taylor Williams, who will be making his major league debut with the Brewers. Williams spent all season with Double-A Biloxi, recording a 3.09 ERA and 2.65 FIP in 46.2 innings, as well as a 10.99 K/9 and 4.05 BB/9. The strikeout rate is impressive, though the walk rate is a bit concerning. What will be worth watching is his fastball, which can reach 99 MPH. This will be a big moment for Williams, who has worked hard to recover from Tommy John surgery. He will likely be used for bullpen depth, but it’s still a nice honor for him to get, considering the season he has put together.
Meanwhile, the other six moves were somewhat expected, as all of those players have been on the roster at some point this season. Andrew Susac and Brent Suter are both returning from the DL. Meanwhile, Brett Phillips, Junior Guerra, Wei-Chung Wang, and Brandon Woodruff have all been playing for the division champion Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
One of the interesting things to watch with these call-ups entering September is how they are used in the rotation. At this point, only three starting pitchers (Jimmy Nelson, Chase Anderson, Zach Davies) are guaranteed to be starting regularly. That leaves potentially four pitchers (Matt Garza, Brandon Woodruff, Brent Suter, Junior Guerra) to fill the other spots in the rotation. We will have to wait and see if manager Craig Counsell chooses to just rotate through the four, or if one or two are heading to the bullpen to finish out the season.
The Brewers are 3.5 games behind the Cubs in the NL Central and 2.5 games behind the Rockies in the Wild Card race as September begins. The opportunity is there to make the postseason if the Brewers can put together a strong month. These players could be key in the Brewers making that run.
Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.