Milwaukee Brewers: Is Jimmy Nelson the New Ace Going Forward?

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This was supposed to be the year that Wily Peralta took over. With the absence of Yovani Gallardo, Peralta looked primed and ready to be the man in the Brewers’ rotation. Though he has pitched better since returning from the disabled list, injuries and a difficult start have not helped him to take the next step forward.

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On the other hand, after a start that some viewed as rocky, Jimmy Nelson has taken his game to a whole new level. By literally growing up with each start and dominating over the course of the last two months, Nelson looks to have all the makings of the next Brewers ace.

Yes, Nelson hasn’t been perfect this season as he leads the league in both wild pitches and hit batsmen, but he has shown poise and maturity each time he has taken the hill. Over the past two months worth of starts he has lowered his ERA over a point to 3.61. After finishing July with a 1.64 ERA in five starts, he has been just as stellar in his three August starts with a 2.66 ERA. During these starts he has not only greatly lowered his WHIP, but he has a season best 6:1 strikeout to walk ratio for August.

At 26-years-old and continually putting together solid starts, this run is becoming more than just a good stretch. Every time Nelson has taken the mound since mid-June, he has put the Brewers in position to win. He was an innings eater who over-exceeded every expectation throughout his time in the minor leagues and more and more he is looking like he is set to be the most counted on arm in the Brewers’ rotation.

For many years, Gallardo was looked at as the ‘ace’ of the staff. While he often failed to live up to this status at times, Nelson is pitching like a pitcher poised to elevate his game to the next level. With each start, Nelson is proving that his run is no fluke and that he is truly an arm that can be counted on and even trusted to take the hill on opening day in 2016.

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