Knebel had a rocky 2018 campaign which included a trip to the disabled list and a brief demotion to the minors. He still finished the year with a respectable 3.58 ERA and 16 saves in 55.1 innings, backed up by an excellent 39.5 percent strikeout rate. He looked back to his usual self in the playoffs, allowing just a single run in 10 innings. He should resume his role as the Brewers' closer to start the upcoming season.
Knebel struck out three batters and picked up his 16th save of the season in Monday's victory over the Cardinals.
Incumbent closer Jeremy Jeffress was unavailable Monday due to neck spasms, so Knebel was used in his previous role, and he encountered no issues other than hitting the penultimate batter of the game. Knebel has looked like the 2017 version of himself his month, giving up just two hits while posting a 24:2 K:BB in 12.1 scoreless innings. Jeffress has been similarly effective and figures to get his job back, but the Brewers will also likely be cautious with him the rest of the way, so Knebel could be used in a save situation again before the regular season comes to a close.
Knebel pitched 1.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen in Wednesday's victory over the Cubs. He gave up just one hit and struck out two batters in the game.
Knebel entered Wednesday's frame in the fifth inning with the Brewers up 2-0, and although he allowed an inherited runner to score, he did not cede the lead. Knebel went on to pitch a perfect sixth inning, but in a rare move, the official scorer decided to credit fellow reliever Josh Hader with the win instead. Knebel picked up a save in his previous outing, but that was with Hader and Jeremy Jeffress unavailable, and it would likely take similar circumstances for him to be used in that spot the rest of the way. Regardless, Knebel has still been producing in several categories since returning from a brief minor-league stint at the end of August, allowing just one runner to reach base while striking out 12 batters over 6.2 scoreless frames this month.
Knebel retired all four batters he faced while recording a scoreless four-out save Sunday against the Giants. He struck out two.
With the Brewers up two in the eighth inning, it was Knebel who got the call to close out the frame before coming back out for the ninth. He then retired the side on nine pitches to claim his first save since July 27. It should be noted that Jeremy Jeffress was given the day off after recording saves in each of the previous two games, so it's likely he still sits atop the pecking order for saves in the Milwaukee bullpen at the moment. Still, Knebel was simply too dominant last season to be written off and could reclaim his former role down the stretch as his team looks to lock up a postseason berth.
Knebel wasn't included among the Brewers' first wave of callups Saturday, but that was only because he needed to spent a full 10 days in the minors after being optioned to Triple-A on Aug. 23. The demotion came a couple weeks after Knebel was bumped from the closer's role, as the right-hander didn't see his performance improve upon transitioning to middle-relief work. Now that he's back with Milwaukee, the 2017 All-Star will need to show improved command and control while working in lower-leverage situations before manager Craig Counsell can use him with confidence in key spots.
|10/20/2018 vs Los Angeles|
|vs Los Angeles||3.0||0||0||3.00||1||0||3|
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|More Pitching Stats|
|Postseason Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2013||AFX-West Michigan Whitec||2||1||0.87||31||0||0||0||15||31.0||14||4||3||0||0||10||41|
|2014||AAA-Toledo Mud Hens||1||1||1.96||14||0||0||0||2||18.1||6||4||4||0||2||9||20|
|2014||AAA-Round Rock Express||1||0||3.75||9||0||0||0||0||12.0||9||5||5||2||1||5||20|
|2015||AAA-Colorado Springs Sky||1||2||4.70||16||0||0||0||6||15.1||14||8||8||1||0||7||22|
|2016||AFA-Brevard County Manat||0||0||0.00||2||1||0||0||0||3.0||2||0||0||0||0||1||6|
|2016||AAA-Colorado Springs Sky||1||0||1.32||11||2||0||0||2||13.2||5||2||2||0||0||3||14|