It wasn't long after I got done writing about how I believed Tyler Cravy would be called up to start on Monday that Ken Rosenthal cited sources who claimed the Brewers were going to call up Ty Wagner to start on Sunday. Half an hour earlier could have saved me a lot of work!
The move is somewhat surprising as Ty Wagner had been pitching in AA all season, his first time at the level. This could be the beginning of a trend with the Brewers better pitching prospects. It could be that the club wants to spare them the added obstacles that come with pitching in the high altitudes at AAA Colorado Springs.
The move is only somewhat surprising because the 24 year old righty has been laying waste to his competition in AA. He's thrown 53.2 innings over 9 starts with a 2.01 ERA and 3.30 FIP. He's not a strikeout pitcher (17.6 K% this year) but he does a good job of keeping the ball on the ground (3.79 GO/AO) and in the park (0.19 HR/9). He also doesn't walk batters much (6.9 BB%). All these things are pretty normal for him and could be applied to each season so far.
He was drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 draft (155 overall). FanGraphs ranked him as the Brewers #14 prospect. MLB Pipeline had him #11. Minor League Ball put him 8th. Baseball Prospectus ranked him 8th. Baseball America 10th. We voted him 8th.
According to MLB Pipeline's scouting report he features a low 90's fastball that is above average and a slider that will be major league average. His changeup is a fringe average offering. Overall he has average command. The word "average" can sometimes be misinterpreted as a slight. It's not at all. Here it's a good thing.
Ty Wagner has the ability to stick in a major league rotation though it's more likely towards the back-end. Again, that's not a slight. He could be a very solid No. 4 pitcher. In front of the right infield defense I think he might be able to look like a No. 3 on occasion because he's able to induce a lot of ground balls.
He seems to be a similar prospect to Taylor Jungmann. But where Jungmann has struggled with command Wagner has not. I think there is every reason to believe that Wagner is capable of sticking in a Brewers rotation for many years. We'll have to see how long he stays up this year though because it may be out of his hands.
The Brewers have need of a starter while Wily Peralta is on the disabled list. That should be anywhere from 4-6 weeks, or 6-8 starts. It's possible those all belong to Wagner if he pitches well enough. Once Peralta returns things could change and it might be necessary to send Wagner back down.
But it's also possible the Brewers make some trades by then which will open a rotation spot. That's over a month away though and a lot can happen between then and now. For the moment let's just get excited for some new blood!