The trade deadline in sports is always full of sellers and buyers. Contending teams look to increase their chances for playoff runs, and teams who are behind in the standings look towards the future. This is why the Milwaukee Brewer’s trade of closer Josh Hader shocked many around the league.
They have competed for the last two years with their biggest strength being their pitching, most notably the bullpen consisting of two All-Star caliber relievers in MLBbro Devin Williams and Josh Hader.
Here is Devin Williams’ reaction to Josh Hader being traded by the Brewers. pic.twitter.com/ziSJaXBzaI
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) August 2, 2022
Williams alluded to the loss of Hader being tough to handle. While they did get a substantial complement of pitchers in return, it is no doubt that the Brewers will have a tougher time fighting to keep pace in the National League Central division race as we approach the latter portion of the season.
With the departure of Hader, more is expected from the aforementioned reliever Williams. Williams is an established bullpen weapon and one of the best relievers in Major League Baseball. An All-Star this season, Williams has been dominant since being called up to the show in 2019 with a career ERA of 2.00. Most of his work has been done as the Brewer’s set up man, but his role could be changing. With the departure of Hader, Williams may now be the featured arm out the Milwaukee bullpen.
Yes, reliever Taylor Rogers comes to the squad with more experience, and is currently second in MLB in Saves. But Williams is a locker room presence in Milwaukee, and fans are already behind him. Brewer manager Craig Counsell is well aware of this and knows he will have to make good use of both, Williams and Rogers to give the team the best chance to win. Williams was visibly unsatisfied with the decision to move on from Hader as displayed in an interview when asked about the trade. “I don’t really have a lot to say to be honest with you,” Williams said. “I don’t know.”
MLBbro Devin Williams got his first chance at the closing position on Wednesday, the day after the infamous Hader trade, but did not fare well. He gave up a game winning, walk-off home run to Pittsburgh Pirates’ outfielder Bryan Reynolds. This was the first earned run allowed by Williams since May 10th… over two whole months… so there is little cause for concern.
In fact, this is the first home run Williams has surrendered all season. Williams is still having a dominant season with a 1.77 ERA and 66 Ks in 40.2 IP. It may take some time to adjust to his new role, or even just to adjust to life with a new running mate in Rogers. But as he has consistently shown in his 4 MLB seasons, Williams is a bona fide reliever. With him still coming out the bullpen, the Brewers still have life in the National League Central race.