MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brewers left-hander Brent Suter will sit out the NL Division Series against the Atlanta Braves with a right oblique strain, another setback for a bullpen already missing setup man Devin Williams.
Milwaukee’s bullpen depth has been a concern since Williams punched a wall and broke his throwing hand the night the Brewers clinched the NL Central title.
Williams went 8-2 with a 2.50 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 54 innings. Suter was 12-5 with a 3.07 ERA in 73 1/3 innings and pitched twice during a weekend series at Los Angeles that closed the regular season.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell said the oblique started bothering Suter on Sunday.
“It’s not ready yet,” Counsell said ahead of Friday’s series opener. “We’re confident it would be ready if we get to the next round, but he needs a little bit more time.”
Counsell said right-hander Jandel Gustave made the Brewers’ 11-man pitching staff for the division series because of Suter’s absence. Gustave is 1-2 with a 3.44 ERA in 14 appearances.
Atlanta also released its NLDS roster, and the Braves’ bullpen won’t have Chris Martin or Richard Rodriguez. Martin had been dealing with an elbow injury but was activated from the injured list in mid-September. Rodriguez, acquired from Pittsburgh at the trade deadline, has allowed seven runs over 12 innings since Sept. 1.
The Braves’ bullpen instead includes rookie Dylan Lee, who has pitched in two major league games. Manager Brian Snitker said Lee’s breaking ball matches up well against Milwaukee’s lineup.
The Braves’ 12-man staff for this best-of-five series includes five pitchers who primarily worked as starters: Charlie Morton, Max Fried, Ian Anderson, Huascar Ynoa and Drew Smyly. Morton is starting Game 1 and Fried will start Game 2.
The Braves also added pinch-running specialist Terrance Gore to their roster. The speedy outfielder has never played for Atlanta, appearing in 102 regular-season games in seven seasons — most recently for the Dodgers in 2020. Gore was a weapon on the basepaths for the Kansas City Royals during their runs to the AL pennant in 2014 and World Series title in 2015.
“We’ve had two or three different guys over the years that have provided that role,” Snitker said. “Hopefully we can get somebody on to use him. You kind of like to have that runner if you can, and with 26 guys, you’re afforded that luxury.”
Orlando Arcia, who was the Brewers’ starting shortstop from 2017-20 but got traded to the Braves in April, also made Atlanta’s roster after spending much of the season in the minors.
“He’s got some big hits for us the last couple of weeks when we were trying to win this thing,” Snitker said.
The Braves designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Brewers first baseman Rowdy Tellez, who was activated from the injured list Saturday after missing a few weeks with a knee injury, is on the roster.
The Brewers included outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who signed a two-year, $24 million deal with Milwaukee before the season but batted .163 and saw his role diminish over the course of the season. Bradley was the MVP of the 2018 AL Championship Series for Boston, which went on to win the World Series.
“If you’re going to win the World Series, everybody is at some point going to have to do something great,” Counsell said. “And I believe Jackie will do something great in this postseason for us.”
Milwaukee’s roster features three catchers, with Luke Maile joining Omar Narváez and Manny Piña.
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