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Brewers won’t have top reliever Devin Williams vs. Dodgers
2:04 PM ET
  • Alden GonzalezESPN Staff Writer

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    • Joined ESPN in 2016 to cover the Los Angeles Rams
    • Previously covered the Angels for MLB.com

LOS ANGELES — Devin Williams, arguably the best reliever in baseball this season, has been left off the Milwaukee Brewers‘ wild-card roster with what the team identified as soreness in his right shoulder, a major blow to a team that was already dealing with injuries to its thin pitching staff.

The Brewers will also be without Brett Anderson, their second-best starter after Corbin Burnes suffered what might be a season-ending oblique injury, because of a recurring blister issue.

Brent Suter, who probably can’t go any longer than four innings, will start Game 1 against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night and will be followed by Brandon Woodruff on normal rest in Game 2.

A starter for a potential Game 3 on Friday is up in the air, increasingly more so given the latest developments. Anderson, with a 4.21 ERA in 47 innings this season, would have potentially made that start had he been available.

Williams, among the favorites for the National League Rookie of the Year award, struck out 53 of the 100 batters he faced in 27 innings this season while allowing only one earned run. That 53% strikeout rate is the highest percentage in MLB history by a pitcher with at least 20 innings pitched, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

His changeup — known as the “Airbender” — has made him a fan favorite on social media. Opponents are 2-for-62 (.032) against it, the lowest opponent average on a single pitch this season (minimum 50 plate appearances), according to ESPN Stats & Info.

The 26-year-old’s absence heightens the pressure on star reliever Josh Hader, who hasn’t recorded more than four outs in an appearance this season, and increases the need for others to step up in the bullpen.

The Brewers got some good news with the return of designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach and outfielder Ben Gamel, both of whom were dealing with quad injuries.

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