Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns is one of the best at making sure his teams are equipped with enough depth. This is especially true with his pitching staff as he will oftentimes call up guys from Triple-A Nashville to eat up valuable innings during the course of a long 162-game season. This year has been no different for we have already seen a lot of players from the Sounds and likely will continue to see more.
Let’s take a look at the makeup of the current bullpen including the high leverage arms.
Let me be the first to say, I thought Josh Hader was going to be moved this off-season. Not for performance reasons but because a trade could have brought in several offensive upgrades which were needed entering 2022. Not to mention he has just two years of control left on his contract.
Well, good thing that didn’t happen. This year Josh Hader has been nearly unhittable. He is perfect in his 14 save chances, has allowed just two hits, and hasn’t allowed a run.
Josh Hader sets a new Major League record with saves in his first 13 games to start a season.#ThisIsMyCrew
— Mike Vassallo (@MikeVassallo13) May 14, 2022
The Brewers’ back end of the bullpen is quite an asset. To set up Josh Hader there is Devin Williams and Brad Boxberger. Brent Suter also gets thrown in the mix as well. When the Brewers are winning late in the game they hardly ever give up the lead in large part due to the consistency of these players.
The remaining relievers are pivotal in keeping games close and sometimes holding onto leads. This year we have already seen a lot of players promoted from Triple-A Nashville. A few players who have been promoted from Nashville include Luis Perdomo, J.C. Mejia (since suspended) and Trevor Kelley. Kelley recently picked up his first-ever MLB win during the Brewers’ walk-off win over Atlanta on Wednesday, but then was optioned back down upon Andrew McCutchen returning off the IL.
Next, we will take a look at some other Triple-A relievers who we might see pitch at some point for the Brewers in 2022.
Angel Perdomo & Miguel Sanchez
Perdomo, a southpaw, and Sanchez, a RHP, were both with the Brewers in 2021. Sanchez was 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA in 28 appearances and 26 innings pitched. Perdomo is an intimidating lefty who stands at 6’8″. Perdomo struggled with the Brewers last year with a 6.35 ERA. He did have 28 strikeouts in 17 innings. Both Perdomo and Sanchez are also on the 40-man roster. Both could end up seeing a decent amount of time on this year’s Brewers squad.
Harris has a plus-fastball capable of hitting triple digits with his electric fastball. Harris has to work on his control a bit. He’s walked 11 batters in 13.2 innings this year in Nashville. His fastball can get him out of trouble though, as he has a sub-1 ERA and allowed only one earned run.
Interesting under-the-radar addition for Brewers: adding minor-league FA RHP Hobie Harris to NRI deal, per source. He has hit 99 mph, good strikeout numbers. Was in big-league camp with Blue Jays last spring.
— Will Sammon (@WillSammon) November 10, 2021
Brown was drafted by the Brewers and was once a top prospect in the system. He was named the Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2018, but has struggled since then. In 2018, Brown was 9-1 with a 2.44 ERA with Biloxi in 2018. He since has switched to a reliever and has seemingly found his role. In nine appearances this year, Brown has logged 10 innings, has allowed just two earned runs which equates to a 1.80 ERA, and has only given up three hits. Batters are hitting a paltry .084 against Brown and he has a 0.80 WHIP.
A little news out of Brewers Minor League camp: Zack Brown's move to the bullpen coming off the shoulder issue last year looks to be permanent. He's prepping to be a reliever moving forward, and is eyeing a spot in the big league 'pen at some point this year.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) February 25, 2022
Barker was fantastic last season, finishing with minuscule 0.80 WHIP. This year he stands at 3-0 with a 3.60 ERA for the Sounds in AAA. Barker, 30, has never reached the majors, but he has been fantastic over his career in the Brewers’ minor league system. In his career he has a 2.33 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 270 strikeouts in 251.1 innings. Barker would be a feel good call up who has performed at every level. Barker isn’t on the 40-man roster, so that could be a hurdle.
Sadzeck is a big human who stands at 6′-7″ and weighs over 230 pounds. Sadzeck has appeared in 33 MLB games with the Rangers and Mariners in 2018 and 2019. In the majors he has a career 2.18 ERA but a 1.51 WHIP due to walking an alarming 17.1% of batters faced. Sadzeck was originally an 11th-round pick of the Rangers and the Brewers signed Sadzeck in August 2021 to a minor-league contract. He isn’t on he 40-man and he has to prove he has better control, but Sadzeck may make an appearance with Milwaukee in 2022.
David Stearns loves to keep the middle innings fluid. In 162 games, you need plenty of arms and Stearns keeps the Brewers’ minor league system stocked. The reserves he has this year, some who he’s already called upon, might be the best reserve arms he’s had to choose from during his tenure. Not included above was Ethan Small, who we already know will get a promotion at some point this year. It will be fun which of these relievers we are introduced to this season.
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