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Stearns: “We may have to push” Josh Hader in the final weeks

The Brewers’ GM hints they could use Josh Hader more often than they have this season as they try to chase down a second straight postseason appearance

Houston Astros v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

It’s no secret the Brewers have used the September roster expansion to their advantage the past couple seasons, leaning heavily on a well-stocked bullpen.

Their recent hot streak to crawl back into the thick of the NL Wildcard race has the Brewers gaining some national attention. GM David Stearns appeared on MLB Network’s High Heat to talk about the team’s playoff chances and the final few weeks of the season.

While Chris Russo doesn’t seem to be following the team all that closely — he couldn’t think of Keston Hiura’s name, referring instead to an injury to a “young kid who’s been a big player” and referring to Zach Davies as “Davis” — Stearns does a good job of actually explaining the team’s situation, and went into a bit more detail in talking about how the Brewers might rely on the bullpen to get them across the finish line.

After Russo mentioned Hader pitching back-to-back days to close out the Cubs series, Stearns said we might see more of that as the season winds down:

“Josh is a big part of our team, we know that, I think Craig does a great job of making sure he gets the necessary rest. There are going to be times where we have to use him back-to-back, we may have to push him a little bit over the next couple weeks, but we’ve done a nice job of building up a base of rest in order to allow us to get here.”

With that said, Stearns knows guys who are getting consistent rest down the stretch still perform better, which is why he intends to take full advantage of the last year of the 40-man roster rule in September (as we saw today, with Devin Williams now getting called back up):

“The nice thing about where we are in September with the roster rules that we have this year that are going to change next year but we at least have this year, is that we have a number of arms down there. So we can take advantage of that, we don’t need to wear any one or two guys out, we’ve got confidence in a number of guys down there, and we can make sure our pitchers are fresh when they’re in the game.”

Overall, Stearns’ phone interview only lasted about 5 or 6 minutes. If you want to watch the whole interview, you can do so here.