Milwaukee Brewers Starter Relegated To Bullpen

After three straight years of being a staple in the Milwaukee Brewers' rotation, it appears that 2023 will begin in the bullpen for seventh-year right-hander Adrian Houser.

Houser says he was told by the Brewers at the start of Spring Training that the plan was to shift him back to the bullpen to start the coming season. And he hasn't heard anything different since. He came out of the 'pen in Tuesday's spring training game, and that appears to be the direction this is going. 

The goal, frankly, was (using Houser in relief) because it means that we were healthy in the other spots,” said manager Craig Counsell. “We are in a good spot there. We’re trending toward that."

But the 30-year-old isn't taking this lying down. He intends to earn his way back into the rotation, according to Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

In my mind, I consider myself in that (starting) five," said Houser this week." That’s the way I’ve been going about it. I’ve been considering myself in the rotation. That’s the way I’ve been going about my business and my work is that I’m in the rotation until they tell me otherwise. That’s when it will change.

What did change, was Houser's performance as a starter in 2022. After a 2021 season in which he went 10-6 with a solid 3.22 ERA as a valued member of the rotation, he dropped to 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA and 1.46 WHIP last year. He also missed a couple of months with an elbow injury.

But even with Aaron Ashby out due to injury, the Brewers plan to field a rotation of Corbin BurnesBrandon WoodruffFreddy PeraltaEric Lauer and newly-returned Wade Miley. 

We'll see if either injury or performance will allow Houser to reclaim his spot in the Starting Five.

Photo: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports