The Milwaukee Brewers' 2023 success was predicated on the team's outstanding starting rotation. Milwaukee's starters ranked second in the National League in ERA last season.
But the Brewers' rotation got some unfortunate news on Friday after it was reported that Brandon Woodruff has undergone shoulder surgery to repair the anterior capsule and could miss the entire 2024 season.
This is a devastating blow to the Brewers' hopes to repeat as the NL Central Champions in 2024, and could have greater implications for the team's plans during the offseason. How does this injury affect the Cincinnati Reds' plans this winter?
Devastating injury news for Reds' rival will assuredly shake up the NL Central in 2024
There is already a tremendous amount of uncertainty surrounding the Milwaukee Brewers this offseason. FanSided's Robert Murray opined about what lies ahead for the Brewers this offseason, and that was before Friday's injury news.
Corbin Burnes and Willy Adames had both been looking to receive contract extensions from the Brew Crew, but nothing has materialized. There's also a great deal of uncertainty surrouding manager Craig Counsell's future in Milwaukee. This Brewers ball club could look vastly different in 2024.
With Brandon Woodruff likely to miss all of the 2024 season, and the potential of both Burnes and Adames to be traded this winter, the NL Central looks to be wide-open next season.
The Cincinnati Reds have, arguably, some of the best young talent in the game and plenty of money to spend in free agency this offseason. The St. Louis Cardinals, who finished last in the division in 2023, plan to invest heavily in their pitching staff this winter.
The Chicago Cubs have some key free agents to re-sign, including Cody Bellinger, and could enter the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes this offseason. And while we all like to dismiss the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Buccos have a young young core that includes Brian Reynolds, Oneil Cruz, and Ke'Bryan Hayes.
There's a real chance that this offseason could end in heartbreak for Brewers' fans. Milwaukee could very easily view the injury to Brandon Woodruff as the death knell and sell off some of their top talent while also restocking their farm system.
The NL Central just became a lot more interesting and all five teams will look to be active during the offseason. Buckle up, Reds fans.