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All-Star Closer’s Potential Return Could Boost Brewers’ Bullpen

The potential return of two-time National League All-Star closer Devin Williams could significantly boost the Milwaukee Brewers’ bullpen. Williams earned the prestigious NL Reliever of the Year Award (Trevor Hoffman Award) in 2020 and 2023. In his first full season as the Brewers’ closer last year, he recorded an impressive 36 saves and a 1.53 ERA in 61 appearances. In 58 2/3 innings, he threw 948 pitches, finishing with an 8-3 overall record, 87 strikeouts, 28 walks, and a 0.92 WHIP.

The hard-throwing right-hander and former NL Rookie of the Year is recovering from stress fractures discovered in his back during spring training. He was placed on the 60-day injured list but was able to throw off a mound for the first time on June 26. It was an encouraging 20-pitch session in which he displayed his full arsenal. Williams uses four pitches: a four-seam fastball, changeup, cutter, and slider, ranging in speed from 83.8 to 94.2 according to Baseball Savant.

Devin Williams Return Could Boost Brewers’ Bullpen

The veteran two-time All-Star closer’s return to the mound would be huge for the scrappy Brewers’ bullpen. The blue-collar group has displayed its grit, logging the second-most innings in all of baseball.

“Getting that kind of guy back, acquiring the Reliever of the Year at the MLB Trade Deadline (July 30), would be a good thing for this team,” said Brewers general manager Matt Arnold in an official statement posted on

Despite a potential return in a few weeks, Williams is taking a low-key, day-by-day approach. “You guys keep asking me questions. I keep telling you the same thing. I know what I have today, and I know what I have tomorrow,” Williams said to Adam McCalvy of “Further than that, I have no idea.”

Williams was tentatively scheduled to face live hitters during batting practice before tonight’s series opener versus the Pittsburgh Pirates at American Family Field.

Williams Could Bring Energy, and Depth To Bullpen

The two-time All-Star closer’s potential return could be a catalyst. In turn, this brings significant energy and depth to a solid, resilient group that has performed well above expectations. He would join the likes of current standout Brewers’ relievers Bryan Hudson and Trevor Megill in the bullpen. A healthy Williams would provide a significant boost heading into the second half of the season.

In Williams’ absence, the 6-foot-8, 255-pound Megill has admirably stepped into the role of closer. The imposing right-hander currently has 18 saves in 31 appearances. That effort was highlighted with a 1.53 ERA, including 35 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings.

The Brewers currently remain in first place atop the NL Central Division with a 53-38 record (.582 winning percentage). With arguably the most important baseball of the season on the horizon, Williams could be the ideal piece to help close the door on another division crown.

Main Photo: © Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports


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