Hader threw a scoreless inning in Thursday's spring game against the Reds and struck out two batters. Outings like Thursday's have become the norm for Hader, who has posted a 15.3 K/9 in his big-league career. He will head into the regular season as the Brewers' closer and will have a long leash, but there is at least a chance he could be moved into a more versatile role when fellow reliever Corey Knebel (elbow) is ready to go in May. Regardless of role, Hader will be at or near the top of the list of relief options in nearly all fantasy formats given his penchant for punchouts.
Hader will make $4.1 million this season after losing his arbitration case Friday, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports. The oddities of baseball's financial system benefit the Brewers in this case, as they'll get arguably the game's best reliever at a bargain price. Hader was seemingly hurt in arbitration by an outdated system that greatly favors closers, a role which he only filled for one of his three dominant seasons to date. Hader had filed for $6.4 million, a number which would have been a record for a first-time arbitration-eligible reliever but which would have been far below the value of his services on the open market.
Hader blew the save and took the loss against Washington in Tuesday's NL Wild Card Game. He was charged with three runs (two earned) on two hits and one walk. The Nationals rallied to take the lead against Hader with two outs in the eighth inning. His inning went as follows: strikeout, hit by pitch, strikeout, broken-bat single, walk, single. Right fielder Trent Grisham misread Juan Soto's base knock with the bases loaded and let the ball get by him, allowing the winning run to score. Hader also blew a save in a critical spot in the second-to-last game of the regular season and the long ball was a problem throughout the campaign. The Brewers will be getting Corey Knebel (elbow) back next year, but despite all that Hader has a case to be among the top five relievers off the board in 2020.
Hader allowed two hits and a run while striking out two in one inning in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Rockies. Hader didn't have any trouble getting his first two outs, but pinch hitter Sam Hilliard took him deep for the game-tying run. It's Hader's seventh blown save of the year. He's converted 37 saves, including twelve in a row before Saturday's hiccup. The flame-throwing southpaw owns a 2.62 ERA and 0.81 WHIP with 138 strikeouts in 75.2 innings.
Hader recorded four outs with a walk and two strikeouts to post his 37th save in a 5-3 victory against the Reds on Thursday. The Brewers closer has been a busy man. That's now nine straight appearances in which Hader entered a save situation, and he's converted all nine. He's 10-for-10 this month and has not blown a save since Aug. 17. Hader also owns a 1.35 ERA in September. He could remain busy this weekend, as the Brewers try to track down the Cardinals and avoid the NL Wild Card Game. Overall, Hader is 3-5 with 37 saves, 2.53 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 136 strikeouts in 74.2 innings this season.
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