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MPBrewers #6: Taylor Jungmann

The Brewers would-be Rookie of the Year candidate picked up the slack for a disappointing starting rotation in 2015

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
In late May Milwaukee learned that they'd be without the services of Wily Peralta for at least a month. The Brewers tried a couple of options to take Peralta's place in the rotation. Tyler Wagner was recalled from Double-A Biloxi on May 31. He was tuned up for five runs in 3.2 innings in a game Milwaukee would eventually win in 17 innings. This exacerbated the Brewers' need for another starter closer when Matt Garza was called upon to throw five shutout innings to close out the game. Milwaukee tried Tyler Cravy next and the 26-year-old comported himself well in his big league debut, allowing one run in seven innings in  a 1-0 loss to St. Louis in spot duty for Garza two days later.

Still seeking a long term answer in the rotation to replace Peralta, who was scheduled to miss at least a month, the Brewers called up 24-year-old Taylor Jungmann -- whom you voted as the sixth most valuable Brewer -- to start on June 9th. Jungmann, one of Milwaukee's top prospects at the beginning of the year, had struggled at Triple-A Colorado Springs to start the year. He recorded a 6.37 ERA over 11 appearances -- nine stars --- for the Sky Sox. But the front office saw something they liked in Jungmann, and they decided to give him an extended look as Peralta recovered.

Nailed it.

Jungmann went on to record one of the most impressive debuts for a Brewers rookie in recent memory, allowing two or fewer runs in nine of his first 13 starts as he entrenched himself as one of the Brewers' most reliable starting pitchers. Jungmann stuck in the rotation for the rest of the year as the entire rotation was plagued by injuries and poor preformance, and he briefly bullied his way into a very crowded National League Rookie of the Year race, taking a 2.46 ERA -- and a 7-4 record for one of the league's worst teams --  into September.

The wheels came off for Jungmann late in the year, as he sputtered with a 9.53 ERA and eight home runs allowed over his final five starts However, he still led all Brewers pitchers with at least 10 starts with a 3.77 ERA and an 0.8 HR/9 despite his struggles with the long ball in September and October.

Jungmann will now look to prove that he's closer to the staff ace he was from June-August than the Quad-A roster-filling fodder he preformed like over the season's final six weeks. Coming into the season the general feeling was the Jungmann had a ceiling as a solid back-of-the-rotation starter, and it looks like he's destined to fulfill that promise. Given the current state of the major league roster, Jungmann is a lock to start the year in the major league rotation in 2016.