If they're to make a run to the World Series, then the Milwaukee Brewers may have to do it without Devin Williams.
The 2020 National League Rookie of the Year fractured his right hand when punching a wall. He told reporters he had consumed alcohol after the Brewers clinched the NL Central.
Adam McCalvy @AdamMcCalvy
Devin Williams: “I’m pretty upset with myself. There’s no one to blame but me. I feel like I’ve let my team down, our coaching staff, our fans, everyone. I know how important of a role I play on this team and a lot of people count on me.” <a href="https://t.co/kOjzJvEUhh">pic.twitter.com/kOjzJvEUhh</a>
President of baseball operations David Stearns said Williams might be healthy in time for the Fall Classic should Milwaukee advance that far.
The 27-year-old setup man has likely earned a spot on the list of MLB players who have been hurt in odd circumstances. He's not even the first player this season to fracture a hand while striking something.
Because of what's at stake, his mishap is likely to live long in the memory of fans, too—something Trevor Bauer knows all too well. During the 2016 playoffs, Bauer required stitches for a cut on his finger he suffered while repairing one of his drones.
Williams has played a big role out of the bullpen for the Brewers. In 58 appearances, he's 8-2 with three saves, 23 holds, a 2.50 ERA, a 2.81 FIP and 14.5 strikeouts per nine innings, according to FanGraphs.
Should Milwaukee fail to win the pennant, Williams' injury will undoubtedly lead to questions about how the team would have fared with him.
Manager Craig Counsell isn't short of relief options, especially since Eric Lauer (1.73 ERA in 13 starts since June 27) could get bumped out of the starting rotation for the playoffs. Closer Josh Hader has a 1.27 ERA and 34 saves, while Brent Suter and Brad Boxberger have combined to allow 48 earned runs over 134.1 innings (3.22 ERA).
Still, a contender can never have enough late-inning arms in October. Williams' absence will be glaring if Counsell in a pivotal moment has to rely on a potentially overworked Hader, Suter or Boxberger.