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  • Brewers Acquire RHP Bryse Wilson from Pittsburgh Pirates


    Brock Beauchamp

    It's not a flashy move this offseason, but it adds pitching depth, and the Brewers have shown a knack for converting struggling pitchers into serviceable major league pieces.

    Image courtesy of © Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

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    Earlier in the week, the Pittsburgh Pirates designated right-handed pitcher Bryse Wilson for assignment. Today, the Brewers traded for the 25-year-old pitcher for cash considerations.

    Wilson has spent portions of five seasons in the major leagues, sporting an ugly-looking 5.54 ERA over 232 innings. He spent most of that time as a starter, appearing in 56 games and starting 43. At a glance, this appears to be more roster-filler, potentially for the AAA Nashville Sounds, but intriguing aspects of the young righty deserve to be mentioned.

    Wilson entered the league as an Atlanta Brave in 2018 with a potent average of 95mph on his fastball. Over the years, particularly last season with the Pirates, that number has slowly dropped to the 92.4mph average fastball he had in 2022. Despite having solid velocity on that fastball - even by 2023 standards - Wilson has struggled to miss bats, posting a low 15.4 K% rate over his career.

    Undoubtedly, the Brewers plan to send Wilson to Arizona to retrieve some of that lost fastball velocity. It wouldn't be surprising if they immediately moved him to the bullpen, which often helps add a tick or two in velocity.

    Strangely, despite his struggles, Wilson still threw five different pitches quite often in 2022:

    image.jpeg

    And a few of those pitches were massacred by opposing hitters, notably his changeup and four-seam fastball in 2021 and 2022:

    Year
    Pitch Type
    #
    # RHB
    # LHB
    %
    MPH
    PA
    AB
    H
    1B
    2B
    3B
    HR
    SO
    BBE
    BA
    XBA
    SLG
    XSLG
    WOBA
    XWOBA
    EV
    LA
    Spin
    Ext.
    Whiff%
    PutAway%
    2022 Sinker 593 402 191 32.5 92.1 179 160 49 38 9 0 2 21 141 .306 .296 .400 .407 .342 .341 91.2 5 1958 6.5 11.7 16.9
    2022 4-Seam Fastball 438 117 321 24.0 92.7 114 99 30 18 7 0 5 24 77 .303 .278 .525 .498 .384 .370 91.7 21 2034 6.5 22.2 16.7
    2022 Slider 290 228 62 15.9 83.4 77 75 18 10 4 0 4 13 63 .240 .314 .453 .530 .297 .364 88.4 17 2160 6.6 20.7 17.8
    2022 Changeup 270 72 198 14.8 85.1 82 73 22 12 6 1 3 10 64 .301 .310 .534 .499 .386 .387 92.9 5 1467 6.5 18.8 13.9
    2022 Curveball 234 111 123 12.8 77.2 56 53 13 4 3 0 6 11 43 .245 .245 .642 .519 .378 .334 86.1 18 2307 6.5 20.4 18.3
    2021 4-Seam Fastball 505 194 311 44.5 93.0 134 120 38 25 5 0 8 20 104 .317 .297 .558 .559 .388 .391 86.7 20 2024 6.6 23.7 16.0
    2021 Changeup 225 87 138 19.8 86.8 70 67 18 10 6 0 2 8 60 .269 .333 .448 .537 .309 .378 89.4 8 1576 6.6 14.3 11.9
    2021 Sinker 218 158 60 19.2 92.7 68 63 16 8 6 0 2 10 53 .254 .237 .444 .419 .323 .311 87.6 4 2001 6.6 10.9 15.6
    2021 Curveball 131 81 50 11.5 77.0 30 27 7 5 0 0 2 7 21 .259 .210 .481 .359 .327 .266 82.7 11 2322 6.6 25.9 18.4
    2021 Slider 57 28 29 5.0 86.0 17 16 6 4 1 0 1 1 15 .375 .310 .625 .517 .439 .369 85.3 23 2204 6.6 17.2 14.3

    The Brewers likely see something in Wilson to warrant this small gamble on the roster's margins. Given the recent history of the Pirates' pitching development system, Milwaukee's front office surely saw the numbers and realized changes could be made to Wilson's pitch mix and usage and see improved results on the field.

    Can the Brewers work their fringe-y pitcher magic yet again?

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    8 minutes ago, Sweaty said:

    He's not likely AAA filler, since he's out of options.

    I'd be surprised if they don't try to sneak him through waivers. I should have clarified that a bit.

    Unless they really see something they like after working with him, I suspect he'll be a spring training waiver wire guy during the time when teams try to sneak everybody through before opening day.

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    Trading cash considerations for a player that was DFAed usually indicates that the team believes other teams (or at least one) were looking to grab that player off waivers.

    The Brewers also had to DFA Trevor Kelly to make room, since the 40-man is maxed.

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    6 minutes ago, Sweaty said:

    Trading cash considerations for a player that was DFAed usually indicates that the team believes other teams (or at least one) were looking to grab that player off waivers.

    That's a really good point. Giving cash back for a DFA means you either really want him or kinda want him but think other teams in more advantageous waiver positions also want him.

    Either way, the Brewers like something about the guy.

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