BY DAN ZIELINSKI
A 6-foot-3, 185-pound lanky left-handed hurler with a deceptive low three-quarters arm slot and curly blond hair nearly shoulder length long, Josh Hader is quickly making his presence known at the big league level with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2017.
In eight appearances out of the bullpen since being called up by the Brewers on June 9, Hader has a 1-0 record with a minuscule 0.73 ERA, 13 strikeouts and just three hits in 12 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting only .079 against the 23-year-old lefty.
With the struggles of Brewers’ right-handers Junior Guerra and Zach Davies this season and Chase Anderson on the disabled list, it’s time for the team to move their prized pitching prospect into the starting rotation. Although his command needs improvement, his stuff is filthy and he possesses front-of-the-rotation potential.
Hader, who’s garnered comparisons to Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale, has a three-pitch mix, featuring a fastball, slider and changeup. Hader’s fastball touches 93-97 mph and his wipeout slider is a nasty outpitch.
Shocking the major leagues and contending for a playoff spot as the All-Star break approaches, the Brewers need to see if Hader can carry his success as a reliever to the major league rotation.
Without solid starting pitching, the Brewers aren’t going anywhere. They have nothing to lose by moving Hader into the rotation, especially with an open spot due to Anderson being on the DL
Possessing sky-high potential, Hader could be exactly what the team needs as they vie for a playoff spot and look to shore up their starting rotation behind Jimmy Nelson.