In a season where the Brewers’ pitching staff saw some inconsistencies due to injury or poor play, there was always one consistent presence out of the bullpen. Hoby Milner was a steady force out of the pen in 2022 and continued that into this season. In 2023, he raised the level of play and became one of the most used and effective arms out of the bullpen.
In 2023, Hoby Milner saw a career-high 73 appearances. While he only played six more games and had a nearly identical number of innings (64 2⁄3 in 2022 vs. 64 1⁄3 in 2023), he improved in nearly every statistical category. He posted an ERA of 1.82, ERA+ of 238, and 0.964 WHIP. His hits were down from 61 to 49, while earned runs were down from 27 to 13.
Milner seemingly never had a bad game. He allowed multiple earned runs only three times. He was also at his best when it mattered most. He ended the season on an 18-game scoreless game streak. He allowed just eight hits during that stretch, and the Brewers were 11-7 during that stretch. Twice he went an entire month (June and August) without allowing an earned run. His 17 holds were the third most on the staff.
While relievers like Devin Williams deservingly had the spotlight, Milner’s workload and consistency was a major driver in making the Brewers bullpen one of the best in baseball. He could work multiple innings, come in and end a threat, or set up the final innings for Williams. Now with two seasons of 60-plus innings, Milner hasn’t shown any cracks. The 32-year-old is now a veteran presence as the Brewers potentially look to embrace their younger future. Still, you cannot talk about the success of this Brewers bullpen without the name Hoby Milner being a part of the conversation.
We’ll continue the rankings of the 10 most valuable Brewers each Monday and Wednesday into December. Come back on Wednesday to see who we have at No. 7.