The Milwaukee Brewers gave right-handed pitcher Jimmy Nelson his first Major League start on Saturday night. The 24-year-old put forth a terrific performance while giving the Brewers one more person to look at in Spring Training next year. Will Nelson still in the minors for another season or will he have a legitimate chance at competing for a starting rotation spot in 2014?
The fact that the Brewers will head into the season finale on Sunday with a 74-87 record means nobody’s job is secure, at least among the pitchers. Obviously, starters Kyle Lohse and Yovani Gallardo are expected to have a spot in the rotation but Milwaukee could find a way to trade them in the offseason. However, that is something that will not be discussed at this point. For now, it is clear that the pitching staff could get another makeover similar to what happened last spring.
There is no question Nelson should get some attention next year consider the Brewers saw 12 different pitchers start at least one game in 2013. The organization has a good idea of what they would like the rotation to look like, but there will be no guarantees until several players get a shot in Spring Training.
One thing Milwaukee must take into consideration is if Nelson is even ready for a role in the majors.
“It may be too soon, but we’ll have discussions on that,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said, according to Brewers.com. “He probably could use going back to Triple-A for a bit, but I don’t know the circumstances we’re going to be in. … He’s coming along fast, but I think he needs to pitch some more. He’s got good stuff. I like him.”
In 10 innings this season, Nelson allowed just one earned run, two hits and struck out eight of the 14 batters he faced. Even though it is a small sample size, he still proved that he has what it takes to be successful at the top level.