Jeremy Jeffress has had an interesting career up until now. Jeremy was the 16th overall pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2006. However, Jeremy’s biggest struggle wasn’t on the field. He failed 3 drug tests with the last one resulting in a 100-game suspension in 2009. He’s been part of two of the biggest trades in Milwaukee Brewers history. The first trade netted the Brewers a true ace in Zack Greinke, but unfortunately for the Brewers they gave away a huge package of Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress. However, Jeffress didn’t live up to his billing in KC and they DFA’d him November 2, 2012. He was traded to the Blue Jays for cash on November 8, 2012.
His stay in Toronto was short and rocky as well. Jeremy was DFA’d on April 6, 2013 after making only one appearance for Toronto. He cleared waivers and was send down to AAA affiliate the Buffalo Bisons. He didn’t pitch a game for the Bisons before he was sent down to Class A Dunedin Blue Jays. However, less than a week later he was recalled by the Bisons before he was made a September call-up. The next season he was DFA’d again, but this time he chose free agency over joining the Bisons again.
Jeremy made his first return to Milwaukee on a minor league contract. He was assigned to the Nashville Sounds. July 21, 2014 Jeremy donned the Brewers uniform again. He shined setting up then Brewers closer Francisco (K-rod) Rodriguez. He had an excellent 1.88 ERA and a miniscule WHIP 0f 1.186. He also curtailed his walk issues that haunted him elsewhere with a walk rate of 2.2 per 9 innings. He pitched extremely well the next season, making 72 appearances for the Crew. Boasting an ERA of 2.65 and striking out a shade under 9 per 9 innings. The next season he emerged as the Brewers closer and thrived in that role. He had 27 saves in 28 opportunities. Sadly, Jeremy was a part of another Brewers blockbuster as we shipped him and Jonathan Lucroy to Texas for Lewis Brinson, Luis Ortiz, and a PTBNL (Ryan Cordell).
He made 12 appearances and posted a solid 2.70 ERA to finish of that season. Yet again the good times didn’t last, and Jeremy struggled yet again outside of Milwaukee. In 2017 Jeremy made 39 appearances with Texas and posted an abysmal 5.31 ERA and a sky high 1.671 WHIP. Not to mention another struggle off the field for Jeremy as he was arrested for DWI August 26, 2016. He then went to alcohol rehab and threw against a padded wall daily during in-patient treatment. He then vowed to stay clean for good. Later the next season Texas was falling out of contention and traded Jeremy to a surging young team in hopes of snapping a long playoff drought. He was back in Milwaukee and again returned at a very low price. David Stearns swung a deal to bring back the veteran for minor league pitcher Tayler Scott.
He was back home 1 year after being shipped out for the second time, and I think I can speak for most Brewers fans by saying it was awesome, and borderline emotional. There’s always been a great support system for Jeremy here. He’s been outstanding in every stint he’s had in Milwaukee. Not to mention he was just what that team needed. The additions of he and Anthony Swarzak were huge for a bullpen that had struggled all year and was on the verge of making a run into the playoffs. They proved to be stabilizing forces in the pen, however the team didn’t quite have enough to make the playoffs and fell 1 game short.
Enter this year… The Brewers made huge moves by signing Matt Albers, Jhoulys Chacin, and Lorenzo Cain. They also made a blockbuster trade acquiring Christian Yelich. The irony of all this being that we bring back Lo Cain and trading Lewis Brinson who was the centerpiece in the Lucroy Jeffress deal for Christian Yelich. This team came with a ton of expectations and that included expectations for this bullpen. With an All-Star closer, flame-throwing lefty, and several other high leverage capable relivers. At the center of all of it was Jeremy Jeffress, he was looked at as a potential high leverage reliver and potential setup man to All-Star Corey Knebel. He also added a split-change to his repertoire. A pitch that has proved lethal in Jeremy’s best season to date. He’s posted a superb ERA of 0.33 and retired 18 of 20 inherited runners. Including a no outs base loaded mess against the Marlins in which he escaped unscathed. He’s been fooling hitters all year and has escaped from the scariest of situations.
He’s been arguably the best reliever in statistically the best bullpen in the league. Jeremy has been everything the Brewers could have asked for and more. What he’s doing may not be as sexy as all of Josh Hader’s strikeouts, but he’s been just as unhittable. No matter how you view it without yet another frugal move by David Stearns the complexion of this season would be much different without Jeremy Jeffress in the back half of that bullpen. Jeremy has pitched so well he deserves to be an All-Star, and not only that he deserves much more attention than what he’s gotten. He’s doing something special and everyone needs to take notice. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I couldn’t be happier that Jeremy Jeffress is not only back in Milwaukee, but he’s thriving too.