Devin Williams, the Brewers closer, has been recovering from his resurging back injury. Williams began minimal activities on his first day of spring training practice. 

 

“I had a big flare-up, it completely locked up the first day I got here,” Williams told MLB.com 

 

Due to a recent flare-up, the Brewers look to shut him down for the next six weeks and start a rehab program. 

 

Williams has two stress fractures in his back, an exam in Los Angeles confirmed Wednesday. He is expected to miss around 12 weeks, which would put him tentatively on schedule for a return in late May. 

 

 

Devin Williams Will Miss Opening Day With Back 

 

This injury will be looked at and evaluated closely by the Brewers.  Due to his breakout season last year, Milwaukee will keep a close eye on him as he goes through the rehab process. 

 

Last season Williams became a key contributor in the Brewers bullpen. He would give some great innings as the Brewers moved towards the NL Central title. 

 

However, during that postseason stretch this is where the back pain started to happen. Williams being the gamer he is, pitched through it and received treatments. 

 

“I remembered feeling back pain in September,” Williams told reporters. 

 

Last season Williams ended the regular season with a 1.53 ERA, and a WHIP of 0.92. He would also receive the honorary Trevor Hoffman reliever of year award and the inaugural MLBbro Bob Gibson Pitcher of the Year award.  

 

He received these awards because of his 36 saves. In the postseason, he continued his dominance, despite battling pain, until the Brewers’ season came to an end.  

 

Brewers’ brass is relieved that they chose to shut Williams down, sooner rather than later.

 

“Everybody’s dealing with something to some degree,” Brewers GM Matt Arnold said, when asked if Williams brought the discomfort to the team’s attention last year. 

 

“And Devin is someone who’s a tough competitor and wants to be on the field. He was the National League reliever of the year last year, right? He was pitching great and we would always want to put him in a position to succeed. He did a really good job and this is just something we want to be cautious with and we’re glad we got it right.”

 

With Williams set to be returning mid-season, the Brewers will look to the next best arm coming out of the bullpen. During this year’s spring training, they started and exercised new pitchers from the minors. 

 

Arnold said he would leave the decision up to manager Pat Murphy and his staff. 

 

“We always want to challenge our group to make sure we’re putting the best team on the field and certainly we’ll look into alternatives, whether that’s external or in-house,” Arnold told reporters at Spring Training. 

 

Uribe, as well as Joel Payamps and Trevor Megill, seem to be the most obvious replacements, although finding a true replacement for Williams until he returns will be nearly impossible. His “Airbender” changeup is one in a million, but fortunately, the Brew Crew hasn’t lost a step offensively. 

 

The young core of the Brewers will be something to watch and will be developed properly with new associate manager Rickie Weeks lending his talents to the managerial mix. 

 

The Brewers have enough to stay in the race until they get their ace reliever back. Shutting Williams down early is a wise decision. If rehab goes well Williams will be back in time to help the Brewers make a run.  

 

 

Until then, the Brewers bullpen will have the next man up mentality.

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