Jungmann could end '16 with big league start

Jungmann could end '16 with big league start

CINCINNATI -- With the Brewers' list of probable pitchers populated by a bunch of guys named "to be announced" beyond this weekend's series at Wrigley Field, there is a chance that Taylor Jungmann will cap his tumultuous season with at least one more Major League start.

Jungmann's 10-pitch, 1-2-3 ninth inning in Milwaukee's 7-0 win over the Reds on Wednesday marked his first appearance in the Majors since April 28, when a loss to the Cubs dropped him to 0-4 with a 9.15 ERA. He struggled just as mightily after a demotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs, but the right-hander earned a September callup by posting a 2.51 ERA in 13 starts for Double-A Biloxi. Before Wednesday, he'd been idle since rejoining the team on Sept. 6.

"Obviously when you have 13 guys in the bullpen, there's not enough innings for 13 guys," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell, including rehabbing reliever Michael Blazek in his count. "And our starters have been pitching well. So there's just not enough innings. We anticipated it.

"Taylor threw along with Blazek in a simulated [game], so we got him two innings against hitters on Monday. … We kind of play the games, and then at some point, if we're not getting them into a game, they're throwing on the side. That's the best we can do."

After this road trip, the Brewers have six games at home against the Pirates and Reds, then six games on the road against the Rangers and Rockies.

"As we get to the end, there may be a start in there somewhere," Counsell said.

Jungmann, a former first-round Draft pick who started the Brewers' third game this season, insisted he didn't spend any time Wednesday reflecting on his long road back to the big leagues. He was simply happy to pitch.

"It's obviously up to them, what kind of action I get in," Jungmann said. "They said there was a possibility [of a start] when I got called up. I'm just going day to day. I was the emergency guy up until now; if somebody struggled early, I was the guy. I'm just trying to stay ready in case I do get a start. … I'm just glad to be in the big leagues and have another opportunity to show I can pitch."

The Brewers have been working with six starters lately, and Counsell did not say whether someone would be removed from that rotation in order to insert Jungmann.

Instructional league roster set
Speaking of pitchers who have endured trying years, prospects Nathan Kirby and Taylor Williams, each of whom spent the entire Minor League season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, are on track to take part in the Brewers' fall instructional league, according to farm director Tom Flanagan.

Kirby, a left-hander ranked as the Brewers' No. 22 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, and Williams, a right-hander who made a splash at the start of 2015 big league camp and ranked in the top 30 before he was hurt, are already at Maryvale Baseball Park in Arizona throwing simulated games and side sessions. They will start games when play begins Sept. 22 against the White Sox.

Among the other players who will use "instrux" to make up for time lost this season to injuries is No. 17 Brewers prospect Ryan Cordell, the outfielder acquired from the Rangers as the player to be named later in the Jonathan Lucroy trade. His season ended in early August because of a high ankle sprain.

Those players will be added to the instructional league roster at a later date. At the moment, that roster includes top 30 prospects Corey Ray (No. 2), Phil Bickford (No. 5), Trent Clark (No. 6), Gilbert Lara (No. 8), Cody Ponce (No. 10), Kodi Medeiros (No. 12), Monte Harrison (No. 15), Lucas Erceg (No. 16), Demi Orimoloye (No. 23), Jake Gatewood (No. 24), Mario Feliciano (No. 28), Chad McClanahan (No. 29) and Trey Supak (No. 30).

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. 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.