The Biloxi Shuckers rotation has been absolutely amazing this season. After 117 games, they are second in the league in strikeouts, first in the league in WHIP and lead the league in ERA and it is not even close.
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One of the biggest reasons for these great numbers have been the top half of the rotation. While I believe that both Tyler Wagner and Jorge Lopez should stay in Biloxi to finish what they have started with the team in their inaugural season, with the way both pitchers are throwing they are getting closer to earning a look in the Brewers’ rotation in 2016.
Currently, Wanger and Lopez find their names all over the top of the Southern League in almost every pitching category. Wagner is third in the league in ERA, while Lopez is second. Lopez leads in WHIP and Wagner is second. Lopez is second in strikeouts, while Wagner is sixth. As these rankings clearly show, these pitchers are among the leagues best, racking up quality start after quality start and putting the Shuckers in position to win each time they take the hill.
As the year has gone on, each pitcher has seemingly gotten better. Though Lopez was solid in the first half, since the all-star break he has allowed just 13 runs in 62 innings while posting a 1.89 ERA. He has not allowed a run in his last 17.1 innings, including seven innings of one hit ball with nine strikeouts his last time out. He was rated as having the best curveball in the Southern League by Baseball America and the results are clearly showing.
Wagner was very strong in the first half, even earning a spot start in Milwaukee, but he too has been better post-break. In the first half, Wagner posted an ERA of just 2.43, but in his 10 starts after the break he has put together an ERA of 2.23. Always finding himself in the top-10 in ERA in his minor league career, Wagner is again proving that he is one of the organizations best arms.
With the way things are going at Miller Park these days and the dream season that is going on in Biloxi, there is no reason to speed either of them to the majors at this point, but next year should be a different story. Instead of taking the next jump to AAA Colorado Springs, which is a pitchers nightmare both physically and mentally, Wagner and Lopez’s shining seasons have shown that they deserve a shot to pitch in Milwaukee as early as 2015.