Previewing the Milwaukee Brewers’ 2015 starting rotation

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Sep 7, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jimmy Nelson (52) pitches in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Nelson

With Yovani gone and Melvin putting any and all big roster moves to bed, the fifth spot in the rotation looks like it’s Jimmy Nelson’s to lose.

Jimmy Nelson is the wild card of this rotation.

On one hand, you look at Nelson’s 2-9 record with a 4.93 ERA in just 69.1 innings pitched during his 2014 stint with Milwaukee.  You see a young kid who needs to add a consistent third pitch to his fastball/slider repertoire in order to be stay in a big league rotation.  You see a kid who just might not be ready for the big leagues yet.

But on the other hand, you see a Jimmy Nelson who absolutely dominated the AAA level.  Nelson went 10-2 and posted an incredible 1.62 ERA in his 2014 stint in Nashville.  You see a kid that has proven potential, and with the right amount of time and coaching, could transition that to being a real asset to this rotation.

That being said, Milwaukee is not going to give up on Jimmy Nelson anytime soon regardless of how he starts the 2015 season.  He was the team’s No. 1 prospect in 2013, and Doug Melvin believes he has five starters in place.  However, there is a chance that Nelson could find himself back in the minors with another slow start the 2015 campaign.

We all remember how royally ticked off owner Mark Attanasio was last year after Milwaukee’s collapse.  Mark wants to win, and he wants to win now so don’t forget that.  If Nelson gets off to a slow start, I don’t see Milwaukee being patient with him in the big leagues.

This isn’t Jimmy’s last chance with Milwaukee, but Attanasio’s patience has been running thin since October of last year.

Jimmy Nelson is without a doubt the wild card in this rotation with the most to prove going into 2015.