MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers are reportedly passing over their candidates at the Triple-A level to fill a hole in the big league starting rotation. MLB Network reported Thursday that the club was poised to promote right-hander Tyler Wagner from Double-A Biloxi, and that Wagner would start Sunday against the D-backs at Miller Park.
The Brewers need a pitcher to replace Wily Peralta, who will miss four to six weeks with a left oblique strain. But the choice of Wagner came as a surprise, since manager Craig Counsell had indicated the choice would be from among the "names you guys would speculate." Those names had included three Triple-A pitchers: Tyler Thornburg, who has pitched in the big leagues as recently as last month, plus Taylor Jungmann and Tyler Cravy, each of whom was in Major League camp this spring.
Wagner, ranked No. 12 among the club's Top Prospects, according to MLB.com, was not in big league camp and has made nine starts above the Class A level. He is 5-1 with a 2.01 ERA in those starts for Biloxi, a new affiliate which has played every game this season on the road because its stadium remains under construction.
The 24-year-old was Milwaukee's fourth-round Draft pick in 2012.
If Wagner starts Sunday, it would mean the Brewers are pushing Matt Garza to Monday against the Cardinals. Garza has surrendered 19 earned runs over his past three starts.
Wagner would need a spot on Milwaukee's 40-man roster, but that is not a problem since the team has two openings. One was just created Thursday, when the team outrighted reliever Rob Wooten to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.