Young right-hander Brandon Woodruff not only made the Milwaukee Brewers’ playoff roster, but he’s starting Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies.
The Brewers’ playoff roster announced before the series opener on Thursday features an 11-man pitching staff that includes rookie right-handers Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta. Like Woodruff, they are promising starters who have been pitching out of the bullpen.
Woodruff leads off what manager Craig Counsell called a bullpen day on Thursday against the Rockies, who are starting right-hander Antonio Senzatela (6-6, 4.38 ERA).
Woodruff is 3-0 with a 3.61 ERA in 19 games this year with four starts. The 25-year-old has pitched exclusively in relief after Sept. 1, going 1-0 with a 0.73 ERA over 12 1/3 innings in seven appearances.
“He’s just throwing the ball really well, and two, I think he has the potential to do a little more than a reliever, maybe,” Counsell said.
One of Woodruff’s four starts came at Colorado, when he allowed seven runs on nine hits in three innings on May 11. The Brewers still won 11-10.
Jhoulys Chacin (15-8, 3.50), the Brewers’ best starter this year, is scheduled to take the hill in Game 2 on Friday, when he will be opposed by Colorado’s Tyler Anderson (7-9, 4.55).
The left-handed Anderson was formally added to the roster after being left off for the wild-card game, with Colorado also adding German Marquez. Manager Bud Black said Marquez may pitch either in Game 3 on Sunday or Game 4 on Monday, if necessary.
Left off again for the NLDS was right-hander Jon Gray (12-9, 5.12) a strikeout pitcher who struggled this season. Gray was the losing pitcher in the 2017 NL wild-card game, allowing four runs and seven hits in a 1 1/3 innings against Arizona.
Left-handers Wade Miley and Gio Gonzalez are the other starters on the Brewers’ roster. Miley (5-2, 2.57) has pitched well in the second half, while Gonzalez is 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA in five starts after being acquired from the Washington Nationals.
Outfielder Keon Broxton is on the NLDS roster to give Counsell a pinch runner and late-inning defensive replacement off a bench that includes right-handed slugger Domingo Santana and left-handed veteran Curtis Granderson.
Among those left off the roster were left-handed power hitter Eric Thames, who came off the bench in September. He initially split playing time with Jesus Aguilar at first base before getting hurt in April. Aguilar went on to have a breakout season, making the All-Star team and hitting 35 homers.
Right-handed starter Zach Davies was also left off the roster. He was 2-7 with a 4.77 ERA but pitched better in September after returning from injury.
Right-handed starter Chase Anderson, who gave up an NL-high 30 homers, didn’t make the roster.
For the Rockies, third catcher Drew Butera and infielder Pat Valaika were dropped from the wild-card game roster, along with lefthander Jake McGee. Right-hander Chad Bettis (5-2, 5.01) joins the roster for the division series.
Source: The Associated Press