The Brewers’ bullpen has been overworked, and that was before last night’s 5-4 win over the Cubs. With Brandon Woodruff going only 3 2⁄3 innings due to his high pitch count, three key relievers for Milwaukee worked in multiple innings (Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress, and Matt Albers). It worked out last night, but:
#Brewers have optioned Brandon Woodruff to the minors and selected the contract of JJ Hoover. To clear a 40-man spot, Tyler Webb was DFA'd. Counsell said they needed a fresh arm.— The Brewer Nation (@BrewerNation) April 7, 2018
This means they'll need to call up a starter for Wednesday in St. Louis.
#Brewers will need starter in Woodruff spot in St. Louis and will call one up. Can't be Woodruff unless someone gets hurt.— Tom (@Haudricourt) April 7, 2018
The DFA’ing of Tyler Webb means he is removed from the 40 man roster and the team has seven days to trade, release, or place him on waivers. Should Webb clear outright waivers, he would have to accept an assignment to AAA, but there’s always the chance he gets claimed, too. Webb joined the Brewers last year from the Yankees in the Garrett Cooper deal, a move that obviously didn’t have a major impact for either party.
#Brewers are not down on Woodruff. Just desperately needed fresh arm in overworked pen. Hoover was the choice because Williams can't be called up yet. Hasn't been down 10 days since optioned. Hoover was on minor league deal so wasn't optioned.— Tom (@Haudricourt) April 7, 2018
Hoover worked in ten games in spring training, going 10 1⁄3 innings and allowing six hits and three walks for a WHIP of 0.87. Interestingly (to me at least), his ERA this spring was also 0.87. He fanned five.
Woodruff looked solid last night, and there’s no doubt we will see him again plenty over the course of the season. But given that he won’t be eligible to return until April 17th (unless there is an injury) the guess here would be than Junior Guerra will be up next Wednesday to start against the Cardinals. He would be on six days rest after tossing 5.2 innings of two-hit, one-run ball for the Sky Sox in their opening game on Thursday. I’d also venture to say that the Brewers are going to be doing a lot of this swapping out of arms in the near and not-so-near future. The bullpen usage has started the year at an alarmingly high rate, which may or may not be tied to the fact that the starting pitching has been allowing runs at an alarmingly high rate.