Brewers’ Devin Williams out for playoffs as reliever breaks hand by punching wall after NL Central celebration

Brewers’ Devin Williams out for playoffs as reliever breaks hand by punching wall after NL Central celebration

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Sunday, the Milwaukee Brewers clinched the NL Central title and did baseball’s customary postgame celebration on the field and in their clubhouse. In the case of one very important reliever, however, the celebratory night did not end well. Devin Williams, who won both the 2020 NL Rookie of the Year and NL Reliever of the Year awards, has admitted that he drank too much, got angry about something and punched a wall (via Adam McCalvy). He broke his right (pitching) hand in the process and will need surgery to repair it. 

Williams is likely out for the season, though club president David Stearns told reporters that if they make a run to the World Series, it’s possible he’d be ready to return by then (via Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). This is a huge blow to the team, needless to say. 

Williams, 27, is 8-2 with three saves and 23 holds against three blown saves in 2021. He’s pitched to a 2.50 ERA (170 ERA+), 1.19 WHIP and has 87 strikeouts and 28 walks in 54 innings. He has served as the primary setup man for All-Star closer Josh Hader these past two seasons. 

Without Williams in the mix, Brewers manager Craig Counsell will be tasked with continuing to usee his savvy at dealing with his pitching staff. He’s long been one of the best in baseball at it, so the Brewers are in capable hands there. 

He’s likely to employ some mix of righty Brad Boxberger and lefties Brent Suter and Aaron Ashby in the late innings. Hunter Strickland is on the paternity list but he’s also there when he comes back. 

Also of note is that when the Brewers get to the playoffs, they only need four starters in the rotation. That frees them to use Eric Lauer, who has been very good this season, in the bullpen as well. 

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