Devin Williams injury: Brewers closer to miss at least three months with stress fractures in back, per report


Milwaukee Brewers closer Devin Williams will miss three months after being diagnosed with two stress fractures in his back, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Passan adds that Williams will be shut down for six weeks before beginning a six-week rehab process.

Williams, 29, has developed into one of the best late-inning relievers in baseball. Over the last four seasons, he’s amassed a 1.75 ERA (241 ERA+) and a 3.40 strikeout-to-walk ratio to go with 54 saves and an estimated 7.5 Wins Above Replacement, per the calculations housed at Baseball Reference. (Williams’ Win Probability Added during that span is over 12, suggesting he’s more valuable than his WAR indicates.)

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It’s unclear who first-year manager Pat Murphy will task with the closer’s job during Williams’ absence. Joel Payamps, who notched three saves last season, recorded the second-highest leverage index among full-time Brewers relievers. (Williams, obviously enough, ranked No. 1 in that metric, which takes into account the base-out state as well as the inning and the score.) Bryse Wilson, the executor of three saves himself, youngster Abner Uribe and Trevor Megill  seem like the other logical candidates.

Here’s a look at how those pitchers stacked up with Williams last season:

Williams

58.2

1.53

3.11

Payamps

70.2

2.55

4.53

Wilson

76.2

2.58

2.77

Uribe

30.2

1.76

1.95

Megill

34.2

3.63

4.33

Williams’ absence is an unwelcome development for a Brewers team that figures to lean more on its bullpen this season after ranking 23rd in relief innings pitched during the 2023 campaign. Rotation mainstay  Brandon Woodruff is expected to miss a good portion of the year himself, while fellow workhorse Corbin Burnes has long since been traded to the Baltimore Orioles. The Brewers are prepared to fill those vacancies with the likes of journeyman Jakob Junis and DL Hall, who has never cleared 100 innings in a season.

The Brewers are scheduled to open their regular season on March 28 against the New York Mets.





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