News: 2 days agoThe Brewers are remaining cautious with Knebel's (elbow) workload coming out of rehab, but he could be ready for Opening Day, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports.
Spin: Even if he isn't ready for the start of the season July 23 or 24, he seems likely to be cleared shortly thereafter. Knebel completed a 15-pitch live batting practice session Saturday and pitching coach Chris Hook said he looked "really sharp." It remains unclear how manager Craig Counsell plans to distribute saves and late-inning opportunities between Knebel and Josh Hader, but both pitchers are expected to see plenty of high-leverage chances.
ESPN Fantasy Projection: Knebel succumbed to Tommy John surgery shortly before the start of the 2019 season, putting his anticipated return timetable somewhere in the range of May. Once healthy, he could quickly move into the Brewers' late-inning mix thanks to his pre-surgery combination of near-40% strikeout and near-50% ground-ball rates. A closer job might be a tough ask in 2020, but Knebel might emerge as one of the better holds/strikeouts relief options by the season's second half -- if his recovery goes smoothly.