This has been a year of struggle and failure in the Milwaukee Brewers rotation. Both Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza greatly underachieved and eventually lost their rotation roles. Wily Peralta who made a big jump last season, battled injuries and hasn’t quite taken his game to the next level.
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But even with all of the disappointment and failures, Taylor Jungmann was a bright spot in the middle of the rotation. He not only developed into one of the team’s more trusted arms, but often looked how a former first rounder in the process. After pitching in his final game of the season last night, here is a recap of his impressive rookie season.
For a major part of this season, Jungmann has looked like a pitcher who can be counted on in the top half of the rotation, just like he was expected to be. Since tweaking his mechanics, he has shown better command and even improved his walk rate to the lowest it has been since 2011. He will never be a pitcher that can mow down hitters, but if he can continue to command the zone and pitch with his high ground ball rate, he has a long future with the club.
Jungmann began the season with the tall task of some very tough pitching match-ups including Francisco Liriano, Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Cole Hamels. Though he faced these difficult assignments, he battled, lived up to the challenge and kept the Brewers in nearly every game he pitched.
His best start of the year came in Los Angeles on July 11th. In this outing, Jungmann went nine innings allowing just three hits and one run while striking out seven batters in a seven to one Brewers’ victory, throwing just 100 pitches in the process.
He struggled a bit down the stretch, but he still finished the year making 21 starts going nine and eight with a 3.77 ERA. After a trying start in Colorado Springs, these are excellent numbers he put up at the major league level.
Next year’s rotation will come with plenty of question marks, but one thing will be for certain, Jungmann will be a part of it. Jungmann remained tough on opposing hitters all year long and as one of the most positive contributors to the season in 2015, he has certainly stamped his name into the rotation for 2016.