Corey Knebel
Corey Knebel
28-Year-Old PitcherRP
Milwaukee Brewers
Day-To-Day
Injury Elbow
2020 Fantasy Outlook
It appeared Knebel would open 2019 as the Brewers' closer, but an elbow injury late in the spring led to Tommy John surgery and cost him the entire campaign. That procedure takes over a year to recover from, but Knebel has made good progress. While he is not expected to be ready for Opening Day, he should be good to go sometime in May. Josh Hader thrived as the closer last season, but Knebel's injury forced him into that role a bit, and it's arguable Hader is more effective when not limited to one spot. If manager Craig Counsell decides to use Hader more liberally, a healthy Knebel would likely be the primary closer. Health and role are both viable concerns, but Knebel has a proven track record, posting a 2.54 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 14.7 K/9 over his last two healthy seasons. Knebel can be counted on in the ratio and strikeout categories, and if he winds up with the closer's role again -- or even shares it with Hader -- he could provide value in saves as well. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $5.13 million contract with the Brewers in December of 2019.
Should be ready when play resumes
PMilwaukee Brewers
Elbow
March 20, 2020
Knebel (elbow) should be ready to pitch when play resumes, according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com.
ANALYSIS
Knebel was going to miss the first month of the regular season while completing his recovery from Tommy John surgery, but he was on track to be ready in early May. With Opening Day being pushed back at least until sometime that month, he should be available whenever things get underway. His status will be one to keep a keen eye on in the coming weeks, as a healthy and effective Knebel could jump into the closer mix for the Brewers.
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Pitching Stats
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2019
2018
2017
2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-21%
BAA vs LHP
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
-17%
BAA vs LHP
2017
 
 
-24%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .165 275 102 35 39 6 1 6
Since 2017vs Right .208 257 112 27 47 10 2 7
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Left .176 115 41 12 18 3 1 4
2018vs Right .213 108 47 10 20 5 2 3
2017vs Left .156 160 61 23 21 3 0 2
2017vs Right .205 149 65 17 27 5 0 4
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-30%
ERA at Home
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
-16%
ERA on Road
2017
 
 
-70%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 2.12 1.08 72.1 3 3 31 14.2 4.2 1.0
Since 2017Away 3.05 1.19 59.0 2 4 24 15.3 4.3 0.8
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home 3.86 1.09 30.1 2 2 10 14.2 4.2 1.8
2018Away 3.24 1.08 25.0 2 1 6 14.4 2.9 0.4
2017Home 0.86 1.07 42.0 1 1 21 14.1 4.3 0.4
2017Away 2.91 1.26 34.0 0 3 18 15.9 5.3 1.1
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
It was an up-and-down 2018 campaign for Knebel, but he ended it on a high note. He opened the year as the closer, but an early-April injury sidelined him over a month, and he struggled for the next three months before losing the ninth-inning role in August. Things got so bad that month that the Brewers optioned him to Triple-A in late August in an effort to iron things out. The move paid off, as after Knebel was recalled, he allowed just one earned run over 25 appearances before the Brewers were eliminated from the playoffs. While Knebel's ratios dipped last year due to the midseason struggles, he still averaged just a tick under 97 mph on his fastball and posted a similar strikeout rate to his dominant season before, providing plenty of reason for optimism. Jeremy Jeffress thrived last year while closing in Knebel's absence, but given his history, chances are it's Knebel who opens 2019 as the closer in Milwaukee.
The 2017 campaign kicked off with Knebel filling a setup role for the Brewers, but it did not take him long to assume the ninth-inning duties from an ineffective Neftali Feliz. Once he became the closer, Knebel provided a massive boost in saves for fantasy owners, locking up 39 contests from mid-May through season’s end. Knebel let more runners reach base than would have been desired, but he allowed just six home runs and posted an elite 14.9 K/9 over the entire season, so he was frequently able to escape danger. He was one of the most productive relievers in baseball last year, and the numbers mentioned in the previous sentence give him sound job security. There is no question he will open the 2018 season as the Brewers’ closer as long as he is on the Opening Day roster, and his strikeout potential will make him a trendy target for fantasy players.
Knebel was sharp in 2015 but couldn't pick up where he left off, as an oblique injury resulted in his season debut being delayed until June. He had trouble getting started as well, allowing five runs in his first eight appearances, and he never quite managed to settle in. Knebel managed 38 strikeouts in just 32.2 innings, but he finished with a brutal 4.4 BB/9 and often paid for issuing so many free passes. He now owns a mediocre 4.03 ERA in three major league seasons despite a sharp 10.5 K/9. Knebel is just 25 in 2017 and has a high ceiling if he can rein in his control (3.5 career BB/9). But walks often come around to bite the pitchers who concede them, and Knebel is in no way immune. The Brewers seem willing to bet on his stuff winning out over his past results. He will enter spring training as the favorite to be the primary setup man after the Brewers acquired Neftali Feliz to fill their open closer's role.
The Brewers thought they were receiving a prospect pitcher when they got Knebel from the Rangers, but he instead proved to be one of their better bullpen arms in the present. Despite lackluster numbers with Triple-A Colorado Springs, Knebel pitched well with the Brewers, accumulating 58 strikeouts in 50.1 innings to go with a 3.22 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. His 4.09 FIP is a bit troubling, but his mid-90s fastball and good slider should help him maintain his success in the majors. The 23-year-old could see more high-leverage situations if his success continues, and he could even be in line for saves with the trade of Francisco Rodriguez to Detroit in November.
Knebel is an explosive right-handed relief pitching prospect, featuring a mid-90s fastball and a plus curveball. He came to Texas from Detroit in the Joakim Soria trade, but was shut down less than a month later with a sprained UCL. In 54 innings last season between Double-A, Triple-A and the majors, Knebel recorded 74 strikeouts with 17 walks, demonstrating why he profiles as a high-leverage option. He pitched 8.2 innings with the Tigers prior to the trade, but was not featured in the major leagues with Texas, but that should change early in 2015 if he is fully healthy. Traded to Milwaukee in January, Knebel could emerge to take on a prominent late-inning role with the Brewers if his elbow woes are no longer an issue.
The Tigers selected Knebel with the 39th overall pick of the 2013 draft. A closer out of Texas, Knebel was immediately inserted into the same role for Low-A West Michigan after the draft last summer. He dominated the lower level, picking up 15 saves with a 0.87 ERA and 41:10 K:BB ratio in 31 appearances. With good size (6-foot-3, 210 pounds), a strong arm (his fastball tops out at 98 mph) and a wipeout slider, Knebel has the goods to be a closer at the major league level one day. The 22-year-old righty will have to prove himself at the higher levels of the minors to start the 2014 campaign, but he’s considered to be on the fast track to the majors. Once he does arrive to the show, Knebel will have an opportunity to work high-leverage innings late in games, perhaps making his case to replace Joe Nathan upon the conclusion of Nathan's deal with the Tigers after the 2015 campaign.
More Fantasy News
Tracking toward early May
PMilwaukee Brewers
Elbow
February 14, 2020
Knebel (elbow) is throwing his bullpens at about 80 percent and is on track to return around the first week of May, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Targeting mid-April return
PMilwaukee Brewers
Elbow
January 26, 2020
Knebel (elbow) reported no setbacks in his recovery Sunday and hopes to return from the injured list around mid-April, Scott Grodsky of CBS 58 News reports.
ANALYSIS
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Avoids arbitration
PMilwaukee Brewers
Elbow
December 10, 2019
Knebel (elbow) signed a one-year contract with the Brewers on Tuesday, avoiding arbitration, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Could throw off mound in January
PMilwaukee Brewers
Elbow
September 17, 2019
Knebel (elbow) is seven weeks into a flat-ground throwing program and is hopeful to throw off a mound in January, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Recovery going as planned
PMilwaukee Brewers
Elbow
June 11, 2019
Knebel (elbow) indicated Tuesday that his recovery from Tommy John surgery is going as planned, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
ANALYSIS
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