Previously, Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell has utilized September call ups to construct bullpens with a plethora of relief pitchers. Unfortunately, recent rule changes now prevent this. In 2021, only two additional players can be carried on the active roster during the month of September.
Currently, there is a lot of speculation about which players will and will not get called up. It makes sense that at least one spot will go to a pitcher, if not both. With that being said, the Brewers do have two relief pitchers who are deserving of second chances in the big leagues this year.
RHP Justin Topa
Topa first made his presence known during the 2020 season due to a wicked slider and high velocity fastball. Despite a small sample size, many figured that Topa would play a big role in this years bullpen. Unfortunately, he spent the vast majority of this season rehabbing from an elbow injury and was not activated until the middle of August.
After just two appearances, Topa had a blow up outing in Pittsburg and was optioned down to the minor leagues. Since then, he has been pitching great. His velocity appears to be on the rise and should the Brewers promote him during September call ups, adding a fresh pitching arm of his caliber that late into the season could be a huge addition.
— Jeff Hem 🗣🎙🎧 (@JeffHemPBP) August 28, 2021
RHP Jandel Gustave
Gustave has pitched in seven major league innings this year and is yet to surrender an earned run. Unfortunately, he was placed on the COVID IL at the end of July and most recently began a rehab stint. He has made two rehab appearances, both of which have been scoreless outings.
Jandel Gustave works a 1-2-3 8th with 2 strikeouts on #Brewers rehab for the @nashvillesounds, and the Sounds’ pitching staff has now worked 20 consecutive scoreless innings. No score vs. Gwinnett mid-8th at @FirstHorizonPrk.
— Jeff Hem 🗣🎙🎧 (@JeffHemPBP) August 29, 2021
Gustave may not be a household name, but he has been solid as a major league pitcher. In 51.2 career innings he possesses a 2.96 ERA. Prior to this year, Gustave last pitched very well with the Giants in 2019 and the Astros 2016-2017.
During the month of September the Brewers will be battling for play-off position. This means that they will want to add pitchers/players who they can trust. Thankfully, Gustave has shown to be that guy this year and many have faith in Topa as well.
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