By Jason Arndt
Brewers Farm Report
Tyler Wagner confirmed late Thursday night that he has been promoted from Double A Biloxi to parent club Milwaukee.
The confirmation comes after multiple news outlets, including FoxSports Ken Rosenthal, that the 24-year-old right-hander will make his Major League debut Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park.
He indicated that he will be boarding a flight to Milwaukee Friday.
Milwaukee’s 12th ranked prospect has started in nine games for the Shuckers this season, accumulating 53 2/3 innings and has allowed 12 earned runs on 45 hits (2.01 ERA).
He became the Southern League’s first four game winner in a Biloxi 8-2 victory against Pensacola April 27, and followed up with two consecutive seven inning starts, but yielded No Decisions.
Wagner has maintained steady control through the progression of the 2015 season, compiling a 38-15 strikeout-walk ratio, and has stated before that he relies heavily on the defense behind him in inducing ground ball outs.
In 401 minor league innings, he has struck out 319 hitters compared to 141 walks.
Milwaukee’s recall comes after the injury by starter Wily Peralta, necessitating the need to place him on the 15-day disabled list, leaving the Brewers without a viable fifth starter.
The Brewers kicked around the idea of starting reliever Michael Blazek, but opted to pitch Mike Fiers on short rest.
Speculation persisted that Milwaukee would call up lanky starter Taylor Jungmann from Triple A Colorado Springs, but the 6-6 native Texan has struggled the majority of the season.
In Jungmann’s first eight appearances, including two in relief, he has allowed 33 earned runs in 38.1 innings, giving up 45 hits and walking 21.
Jungmann made it to the sixth inning in just two of his appearances, including a victory May 1 against Omaha. He followed up with a six inning relief appearance at Memphis, holding the Redbirds scoreless, with six strikeouts and three walks.
Despite early struggles, Jungmann produced his best performances in his last two appearances.
Jungmann endured a tough loss May 23 at Salt Lake, striking out seven and walked one hitter through seven innings, and allowed two earned runs on seven hits.
Tyler Thornburg was another option, but has seen limited success at the Major League level, and has been knocked around in six appearances with the Sky Sox after being demoted from Milwaukee.
Meanwhile, in another development, the Shuckers will play at MGM Park June 6 amid speculation the opening would be delayed for another two months.
The City of Biloxi cited earlier in the week that the stadium would not be ready by the targeted June 6 date, but after intense negotiations with the Shuckers, an agreement was met.
According to WLOX in Biloxi, money was a primary concern, noting an expedition of construction could cost the city an extra $380,000.
In the same report, city officials anticipate economic growth will offset the cost of paying Yates Construction to expedite the process, with the Shuckers and city of Biloxi each pitching in $100,000.
Yates Construction agreed to the cost reduction, according to the report.
Milwaukee traded former closer John Axford to Central Division rival St. Louis earlier Friday and marks the end of an era to the former Brevard County Manatee, Huntsville Star and Nashville Sound.
Axford was signed as a minor league free agent by Milwaukee in 2008 following one season with the New York Yankees’ organization.
The closer posted a 5-10 record with an earned run average of 4.55 as a spot starter and long reliever for the High A Manatees in 2008. His 95 innings with the Florida State League team is the most he ever accrued professionally in a season and allowed 48 earned runs and struck out 89.
Axford split time between three different levels the following year in 2009 (Brevard County, Huntsville, Nashville) and combined for 68.1 innings pitched with a 9-1 record and 2.77 earned run average.
He posted a 5-0 record in 22 relief appearances for the Nashville Sounds in 2009 and started coming into his own.
Milwaukee attempted to convert him to a starter upon his initial year with the organization, starting 14 of 26 games but eventually found his niche in the bullpen and set the tone for his career heading into the Major Leagues.
Axford’s best strikeout stint came with the Manatees in 2009 where he fanned 43 batters in 27.1 innings before earning a promotion to Double A Huntsville.
Hellweg to be recalled
Nashville’s Johnny Hellweg has his boarding pass stamped to Milwaukee and will be en route to Miller Park following his last start for the Sounds Friday.
Hellweg faces off against Iowa in the first game of the Sounds’ final series of the season and will be the first of many September call-ups when Major League rosters expand to 40 on September 1.
The Pacific Coast League’s Pitcher of the Year is second in the league with 11 victories and also in earned run average with 3.16. He rattled off a string of nine consecutive minor league before and after his short stint with Milwaukee.
Hellweg’s first trip to Milwaukee was unsuccessful in four appearances posting an 0-3 record with 13 earned runs allowed in 10.2 innings.
By Jason Arndt
Brewers Farm Report
It could be Josh Prince‘s time to shine for Milwaukee after Brewers’ third baseman Aramis Ramirez was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday.
Ramirez sprained his left knee sliding into second base in Friday’s 3-1 Brewer loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In minor league action, the Huntsville Stars will be sending Milwaukee’s number three rated prospect Taylor Jungmann to the mound at Chattanooga.
Jungmann compiled a exceptional 2012 campaign with the High A Brevard County Manatees posting an 11-6 record with a 3.53 earned run average in 153 innings.
The Stars defeated the Lookouts Friday night behind a spectacular pitching performance by Jimmy Nelson. The right-handed pitcher struck out eight in five innings to give the Stars the opening night victory against its Southern League rivals.
Nashville hopes to avenge Friday’s 12-0 loss to New Orleans with tall hard-throwing Johnny Hellweg getting the nod for the Sounds.
Brevard County is on the road in Daytona as they continue it’s opening series against the Cubs’ High A Florida State League affiliate.
In earlier action, the Rattlers dropped its first loss of the season in extra innings against the Peoria Chiefs Saturday afternoon by a score of 4-3 despite the offensive performances of outfielder Tyrone Taylor and infielder Alfredo Rodriguez. Please see game report at the bottom.
Tonight’s probables are as follows:
And the game report of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers:
Peoria gets in under the tag for 13 inning win
Rattlers fall for first time in 2013
PEORIA, IL – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers could not hold a 3-0 lead Saturday at Chiefs Stadium and wound up on the losing end of a 4-3 score in thirteen innings to the Peoria Chiefs. Alfredo Rodriguez had three hits and Tyrone Taylor drove Rodriguez in twice, but it was not enough as the Rattlers dropped their first contest of the 2013 season.
The bottom of Wisconsin’s order got them going in the top of the third. Rodriguez and Michael Reed both singled with one out. A wild pitch moved both runners up a base with Taylor at the plate. The Chiefs brought the infield in and Taylor sent a grounder to second. But, the ball was booted for an error and Rodriguez scored without a play at the plate. Orlando Arcia followed with a single to right that knocked in Reed for a 2-0 lead.
Rodriguez and Taylor combined to give the Rattlers (2-1) a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning. Rodriguez singled to start the inning and went to second on an infield grounder. Taylor doubled down the left field line to send Rodriguez home for the three run lead.
Rattlers starting pitcher Brent Suter did not allow a run for his first 4-2/3 innings. But, Casey Rasmus reached on a swinging bunt with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. Michael Swinson followed with an RBI double to left-center.
Rodolfo Fernandez came on in the bottom of the sixth inning and gave up consecutive doubles to Patrick Wisdom and David Washington to let Peoria (2-1) within a run.
The Chiefs tied the game in the bottom of the seventh as the first three hitters singled. Rasmus had the third single in the sequence to drive in the tying run.
The game remained tied until the thirteenth, but not for lack of opportunities.
Wisconsin put their leadoff batter on base in the tenth and twelfth innings. Peoria put their leadoff batter aboard in the ninth inning. They loaded the bases and had a 3-0 count to Charlie Tilson with two outs in their half of the twelfth. But, neither team could push a run across the plate.
In the bottom of the thirteenth, Rattlers reliever Taylor Mangum retired the first two Chief batters. Then, Rasmus pulled a seeing-eye single into the hole between firsts and second. Rasmus would steal second to get into scoring position.
Swinson lined a 3-2 pitch off the glove of Jose Sermo at third base. The ball trickled into foul territory in left field and Rasmus raced for the plate. Sermo’s throw was in time, but a bit high. Catcher Clint Coulter got the tag down quickly on Rasmus, but the Chiefs catcher went in headfirst and was ruled to have got his hand in just under the tag to score the winning run.
The final game of the four game series is Sunday afternoon at Chiefs Stadium. Jorge Lopez is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Peoria will send Kyle Helisek to the mound. Game time is 2:00pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 1:40pm.