The importance of elite bullpen arms in today’s MLB can never be overstated.
As starting pitchers ramp up velocity and spin rate, we’ve seen the amount of innings pitched decrease. With that being the new norm, the constant rotation of fresh arms into a game makes it even harder for hitters to perform.
Over the past week of baseball, there haven’t been too many relievers on the level of MLBbros Carl Edwards Jr. and Devin Williams.
Edwards Jr.’s Return
The Nationals are dead last in the NL East and just 4-3 in their last seven, but there have been signs of life out of a certain two-time World Series winning reliever looking to return to The Show for good. After a rocky debut, Edwards Jr. has once again looked like someone who can shorten a ballgame.
In his last seven trips to the mound, Carl has only given up one hit over eight innings pitched, sitting down nine batters along the way. Edwards Jr., who recently received a second World Series ring for his brief stint with the Braves last season, worked on his off-speed pitches while away in Triple-A and has seen positive results.
“His curveball wasn’t sharp, now his curveball is really, really good, he worked on that,” said Nationals manager Dave Martinez told reporters after Edwards’ return to the big leagues. His rough debut long behind him, Edwards Jr. now looks to make the most of his opportunity in the nation’s capital.
Dominant Devin Willams
For Willams, his current streak of excellence has been more trend than anomaly. We’ve discussed on this site the accolades and insane changeup he’s had for a few years now, but over his last seven games he’s raised the bar even more.
Devin has made a seamless transition into the closer role for Milwaukee, which placed left hander Josh Hader on the medical emergency list to be with his pregnant wife. Over his last seven appearances, Willams has been dominant, giving up zero runs to just four hits in seven innings pitched.
His 0.71 WHIP in the same span while striking out 13 batters gives you a glimpse into just how untouchable he’s been for the Brewers. The rest of Milwaukee’s pen has stepped up amidst the recent shuffling of the deck, the type of execution that has become expected from one of the best bunches in the game.
There’s still plenty of season left, but the ability to shorten a ball game is welcomed year round. The Brewers are built for a playoff run and will enjoy Williams’ services for the remainder of the year, but if Edwards Jr. stays hot he could become an attractive piece for a contender seeking veteran bullpen help.