Projecting the Brewers Rotation for 2023

Despite a slide in the standings over the final two months of the 2022 season, the Milwaukee Brewers should be able to compete for the NL Central title this season. Milwaukee returns a very strong rotation, albeit one that dealt with injury problems last season. Here’s a look at how the Brewers rotation could shake out this season.

Related: Projecting the Twins Rotation for 2023

A Look at the Brewers Rotation Options

  1. RHP Corbin Burnes (12-8, 2.94 ERA, 10.8 K/9 in 2022)
  2. RHP Brandon Woodruff (13-4, 3.05 ERA, 8.9 K/9)
  3. RHP Freddy Peralta (4-4, 3.58 ERA, 9.9 K/9)
  4. LHP Eric Lauer (11-7, 3.69 ERA, 8.9 K/9)
  5. LHP Wade Miley (2-2, 3.16 ERA, 6.8 K/9)

During the offseason, we made our picks for which rotations that we believed looked the best heading into 2023. The Brewers made the cut, thanks to a dominant ace and two other elite starters.

We’ll start off with Corbin Burnes, the 2021 NL Cy Young award. Burnes did his job once again for the Brewers, as the ace led the NL in total strikeouts (243) and boasted impressive 2.94 ERA and .97 WHIP figures. Milwaukee will need to figure out whether to sign Burnes to a long-term deal, or deal the ace in the near future. After all, the 28-year-old is just two years away from entering the free agent market. But for now, the Brewers are set to see whether Burnes can help push Milwaukee back into the postseason.

Next up is Brandon Woodruff, who had another dominant season in Milwaukee. Woodruff went 13-4 with a 3.05 ERA last season, and struck out 190 over 153.1 innings. A hard-throwing righty that can blow away hitters with a fastball or fool theme with a slider or change, the 30-year-old is set to play a key role yet again.

While Woodruff has stayed relatively healthy over the past three seasons, the same can’t be said for Freddy Peralta. Peralta missed time late in 2021 with shoulder inflammation, then missed most of 2022 thanks a renewed bout of inflammation and a strained right lat. When healthy, the 26-year-old has proven to be a force on the mound. If Peralta can stay healthy, it’s going to be hard to find a top three better than the ones the Brewers can send out.

As far as the rest of rotation goes, LHP Eric Lauer is also back for 2023. The lefty won a career-high 11 games in 2022, and can fool hitters with a fastball/cutter/slider combo. Control has been somewhat of a concern for Lauer in his career, but he’s managed to keep down the walks to a respectable total in each of past two campaigns.

Then, there’s LHP Wade Miley. Miley, who returns to Milwaukee after a great run with the franchise in 2018, did spend most of the 2022 season on the IL. The crafty left-hander can beat hitters with great control, and deception. Miley can get hitters chasing with an effective cutter, and beat right-handers with a strong changeup.

In addition to the five that should begin in the rotation, Milwaukee is also set to return Adrian Houser, Aaron Ashby, and Jason Alexander for 2023. Houser and Alexander did struggle last season, while Ashby recorded a paltry 2-10 record for Milwaukee. The son of Andy Ashby, Aaron does have very impressive stuff. Ashby owns a very good slider, along with a solid change that can be played off his sinker. While the 24-year-old did struggle with his command at times, the peripheral stats don’t tell the whole story with Ashby.

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