Brewers continue retooling bullpen by adding Rosenthal
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers reshaped their bullpen following the departure of four-time All-Star closer Josh Hader by acquiring injured reliever Trevor Rosenthal from the San Francisco Giants just before Tuesday’s trade deadline.
Milwaukee sent minor league outfielder Tristan Peters to the Giants.
Rosenthal hasn’t pitched since 2020 due to a variety of injuries but is hoping to make it back later this season. He signed a $4.5 million, one-year deal with San Francisco last month.
David Stearns, the Brewers’ president of baseball operations, said he’s hoping Rosenthal is ready to pitch in the majors again by the end of August.
“That would be our intent and our goal,” Stearns said. “Obviously we could accelerate it before then. I know Trevor is motivated to get it a lot faster. Or it could be longer, clearly, if we have a setback.”
The 32-year-old Rosenthal has a 3.36 ERA and 132 saves in 373 career regular-season appearances, with 93 of those saves coming for St. Louis from 2014-15.
The NL Central-leading Brewers also had acquired right-hander Matt Bush from the Texas Rangers on Monday night for infielder Mark Mathias and pitching prospect Antoine Kelly. That came after Hader was sent to San Diego earlier Monday in exchange for former Padres closer Taylor Rogers and right-hander Dinelson Lamet as well as outfielder Esteury Ruiz and pitching prospect Robert Gasser.
Peters, 22, was batting .306 with seven home runs and 51 RBIs in 90 games in Class A.
As the Brewers prepared to start their three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, they were still adapting to the loss of Hader, who was named NL reliever of the year three of the last four seasons.
“I think initially, it was definitely surprising,” outfielder Christian Yelich said. “I’m not sure anybody was necessarily expecting that to happen, but this time of the year, you never really know. We’ll miss Josh, for sure. He’s been a huge part of what we’ve done here the last five years and a big part of the success that we’ve had.”
Brewers pitcher Brandon Woodruff said he’d just finished golfing when he got the news Monday and originally thought it was a joke. Then it started to sink in.
“We’re a first-place team,” Woodruff said. “We want to win the World Series. That’s why when I saw it, I didn’t believe it at first. But as I sat down and thought about it some more, sometimes that stuff’s just hard. Those decisions in the front office, sometimes they’re hard things to do. You may not understand it, but it’s just part of it.”
The Brewers have bullpen choices.
Devin Williams entered the Pirates series having has made 30 consecutive scoreless appearances as a setup man . The All-Star could be in line to close more games.
Rogers, an All-Star last season with the Minnesota Twins, was the Padres’ closer until recently and give the Brewers another ninth-inning option.
“I think Devin is going to play a big role in that,” manager Craig Counsell said. “I think Rogers can play a big role in that. We’ll be a little more flexible with it, probably using some matchups a little bit more. I think we’ve got good choices down there and very confident we’ll close out games.”
Williams acknowledged he also was surprised not to have Hader as a teammate anymore.
“He was a huge part of our success,” Williams said. “Having him in the ninth inning, just getting the ball to him was pretty much a sure thing most of the time. It was good to learn from him and have him to feed off of. I picked up a lot of things from him over the last couple of years. Having him back there was really big for me.”
The Brewers have relied heavily on their pitching staff as they chase their fifth consecutive playoff appearance. They insisted Tuesday that their mission hasn’t changed even after trading away one of their biggest weapons.
“We all want a World Series,” Counsell said. “The best way to get there, I think we should have learned over the years, David Stearns is a pretty good guy to help us get there. He’s done an incredible job. And you know he’ll continue to do an incredible job. And that doesn’t change: The goal (is) to win a World Series.”
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