Ouch! Devin ‘Airbender’ Williams Sidelined With Bad Back | The National League’s Elite Closer Is Out Until May

Ouch! Devin ‘Airbender’ Williams Sidelined With Bad Back | The National League’s Elite Closer Is Out Until May

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.

#HIGHFIVE | The Baby Bros Stole The Show This Week

#HIGHFIVE | The Baby Bros Stole The Show This Week

Jordan “Sky” Walker continued his high level of hitting this week, boosting his career-high hitting streak to 17 games with a single up the middle against the Astros on Thursday night.


The Cardinals top prospect has been a force since being recalled to the Majors in early June and caps off the month by earning the top spot in Week 13 of our #HighFive List.

 

1. Jordan “Sky” Walker

 

Walker’s 17-game hitting streak is the longest going in the Major Leagues and bests his previous career-high of 12 he set at the beginning of the season.

 

 

After falling into a slight cold spell once the streak ended, Walker spent a little over a month with the Cardinals Triple-A affiliate in Memphis before rejoining the club on June 2nd.

 

 

“I had some of the toughest times of my life down there,” Walker told MLBbro.com.  “Most of what I learned was mental.  I felt the worst I ever have at the plate.  But I realized no matter what you are going through at some point you will get out of it.”

 

 

Walker will end this month hitting over .330 while adding four home runs, nine RBI and a .418 on base percentage.

 

He looks to extend the streak to 20 after a three-game series against the Yankees this weekend.

 

2. “Money” Michael Harris II

Michael Harris recovered from a Rookie of the Year hangover and became the best nine-hole hitter in baseball in a month’s time.

 

Atlanta’s Michael Harris II is Getting Back to the Money

 

This is the third consecutive week Harris earned his way into the #HighFive after posting a .385 average over his last seven games, but that does not do him full justice.

 

Through the last 15 games Harris is hitting an unprecedented .456 with four home runs, 11 RBI, a .458 on base percentage, .772 slugging and 13 runs scored.

 

3. Devin “The Airbender” Williams

Devin Williams is in a different mode on the mound.

 

Line his resume this season up with anyone and you will find Williams is one of if not the best closer in the Majors.

 

Devin Williams Blew A Save, Then Blew Up The League | He’s Unhittable Again

 

On June 13th Williams blew his first save of the season, but aside from that outlier performance where he gave up four earned, he has not given up a run since May 7th!

 

Over that span he has 22 strikeouts in 17.1 innings and has a batting average of .118 in June.

 

Williams is fourth among closers in the National League in saves and his 12 hits allowed are the lease for any qualifying closer.

 

4. Josh Naylor

Josh Naylor has been mashing baseballs this season and he got an emotional boost this week after his brother Bo was called to the Majors.

 

Tuesday night the Naylor brothers became the third pair of brothers to record two hits each in the same game and the first since 1955.

 

Josh Naylor Has 32 Hits In His Last 21 Games | The Impaler Is Gorging On Pitchers

 

Josh, who is hitting .300 in his last seven games has collected hits in 22 of his last 26 games and ranks 8th in the American League in average and is 5th in the Majors in RBI.

 

The competition at first base for All-Star berths is steep, but taking names away from statistics Naylor is hands down a cut above the rest.

5. George Springer

George Springer’s leadoff home run last Sunday gives him 55 for his career and moves him to second All-Time trailing only the legendary Rickey Henderson who had 81 in his career.

 

George Springer Is Doing Everything He Can To Keep Toronto Alive In Tough AL East

 

It was another solid week in what has been a solid 2023 from Springer.

 

In his last seven games he is slashing .393/.419/.517 with six RBI, two walks and five runs scored.

 

His Blue Jays will welcome the Red Sox to the “6” for a three-game series this weekend.

Will MLBbro Devin “Airbender” Williams Take the Next Step As the Milwaukee Brewers Closer In 2023?

Will MLBbro Devin “Airbender” Williams Take the Next Step As the Milwaukee Brewers Closer In 2023?

Devin Williams of the Milwaukee Brewers already has collected a trove of historical statistics and accomplishments that makes the 28-year-old MLBbro one of the most dominant relief pitchers in history. He also appreciates a mean shoe game, as Rob Parker found out at the 2022 All-Star game in Colorado.  

 

 

2020 National League Rookie Of The Year

 

In 2020, he was named the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s Jackie Robinson National League Rookie of the Year. Here’s where things get very interesting.

Just check out the history attached to this achievement…

 

  • Williams was the first relief pitcher in either league to take Rookie of the Year Honors since Craig Kimbrell did it for the Atlanta Braves in 2011.

 

  • He was the first non-closer to achieve the accomplishment since Scott Williamson did it with the Cincinnati Reds in 1999. 

 

  • He became the very first pitcher to take the award without logging a win or save. 

 

  • Devin Williams and fellow MLBbro Kyle Lewis of the Seattle Mariners, were the first Black players to sweep rookie honors since hit machine Alvin Davis and the MLBbro icon Dwight Gooden back in 1984.

 

Williams also won the 2020 NL Reliever of the Year Award after his teammate Josh Hader had won it the previous two seasons.

It’s one thing to be a part of history and it’s another to understand the importance of being part of history. In 1984, Gooden and Davis swept the honors THREE YEARS before the award was renamed in Jackie Robinson’s honor. He spoke out at the time on the subject via MLB.com.

Devin Williams Represents For Biracial MLBbros 

“I feel like you need someone who looks like you to show you it’s possible,” Williams said. “Growing up, I had guys like Derek Jeter and other biracial and Black players who just kind of opened the door to that possibility for me. When you don’t see anyone who looks like you, it doesn’t feel like it’s attainable, in a way.”

Williams was the only MLBbro pitcher at the 2022 MLB All-Star Game.

 

 

Age Of “The Airbender”

 

After a rocky 2021 season filled with inconsistencies and a broken hand that kept him out of the postseason, here’s where the story begins.

When our MLBbro further developed his unique “airbender” changeup that made everyone forget the valleys of the previous season, Williams quietly transitioned himself from the best set-up man in baseball to one of the best closers. The Milwaukee Brewers must have seen some long-term potential when they shocked the baseball world and it’s players by trading ace closer Josh Hader to the San Diego Padres at the trade deadline. At the time, Hader led the MLB with 29 saves.

Even Williams himself was surprised by the deal. But the Brewers front office sees that Williams is ready to be the man to close games out for this franchise.

 

Just look at the numbers between Hader and Williams at the time of the big trade…

Hader: 29 saves in 31 attempts with an ERA of 4.24 and a WHIP of 1.12.

Williams: In 39.2 innings of setup work, our MLBbro had an ERA of 1.59 and 66 strikeouts. 

Coupled with the 0.33 ERA during his award collecting 2020 campaign, it shows the Brewers’ decision was a no brainer. Taylor Rogers, Dinelson Lamet and Robert Gasser will compete for Devin’s set-up position in the bullpen.  

 What Can We Expect From MLBbro Devin Williams in 2023?

 

The most unique pitch that will be introduced to the game since the split-fingered fastball in the 1980’s by Bruce Sutter. Williams has a changeup that is so fascinating that it has its own name. Pitching guru, Rob Friedman calls his changeup “The Airbender”. Just like with his awards, he understands the significance of what’s going on around him. 

 

 

With this physics-defying pitch and more opportunity for saves to boost his resume, our MLBbro is well on his way to being a Cy Young contender if he can stay healthy and available. 

 

Will MLBbro Devin “Airbender” Williams Take the Next Step As the Milwaukee Brewers Closer In 2023?

Devin “Airbender” Williams Is Causing Havoc For MLB Hitters | Redemption Awaits

Though Devin Williams may only throw one to two innings during a game, he makes sure to leave it all on the field during that time. And opposing teams have had difficulty at the plate when Williams is on the mound.


The Milwaukee Brewers are fighting each day for a spot in the postseason and Williams will continue to play a key factor in the Brewers’ quest to play deep into October.

With 16 games left Milwaukee is two games out of the final NL Wild Card slot. They are 7-3 over their last 10 games. Only the LA Dodgers have a better record over

Williams put together two impressive performances against the New York Yankees this past Friday and Saturday. The Brewers were able to win the series, which they needed to do and Williams made sure to contribute in a big way.

He’s been a man on a mission since his All-Star weekend festivities and has taken over the closer role vacated by the Josh Hader trade.

 

On Friday, September 16th, he threw one inning, striking out two as the Brewers won 7-6. The next day, he was perfect as he struck out two and picked up his 13th save of the season.


It seems as if Williams continues to get better each season. He’s only been in the league for four seasons and his future is bright.

This month, Williams has made the most of his opportunities late in games. He’s made six appearances and has picked up a win and four saves during that stretch.


Let’s not forget that he’s only allowed one run. In fact, he’s only surrendered 11 runs 56.1 innings pitched. When you mention K -Kings out of the pen, Williams has 86 strikeouts. 

He’s firing on all cylinders at the right time. Helping the Brewers advance to the playoffs would be a redemption song for Williams. Last season, he took himself out of the playoffs by punching a wall.

 

Devin Williams Eliminated Himself From Postseason Play After Punching A Wall


He definitely doesn’t want to put himself in a position like that again.

Williams knows that his team can make it to the postseason. His teammates cannot take these games for granted. It’s do-or-die for the Brewers right now and Williams is going to be that leader on the field and in the clubhouse and do whatever it takes to help his team get to the postseason.


The 27-year-old is setting himself up to have a successful career and be one of the MLBbros that we talk about for years to come. Let’s see how much of an impact he makes during these last few weeks of the season.

We’re rooting for you bro!