With Mark Rogers hitting his innings limit and Randy Wolf gone, the Milwaukee Brewers have turned to rookie Wily Peralta to start tonight’s game against the Miami Marlins. Peralta, who made his MLB debut back in April, has only an inning of experience up here. Peralta is a young pitcher at 23 and has spent the last four years in the minors someday preparing to be up here. Now with the roster expansion of September, he finally is up here in the big leauges. While his numbers from this year in Triple-A Hunstville didn’t exactly impress, overall he’s been a decent pitcher in the minors and has been ready for the majors. Now it is Peralta’s time to shine and let’s see what he’ll do with it.
What Peralta offers the Brewers are exploding fastballs (two-seam and four-seam) that can reach up to 98 mph. His fastballs, like most pitchers, are his best pitches going forward and two he’ll more than likely rely on until he gains more confidence in his other pitches. Peralta also has a slider, around 80-83 mph, that has been noted for it’s late break in the strike zone that almost makes it look like a cut-fastball. One last pitch Peralta offers is his change-up. Peralta’s change-up has a lot of sinking action on it and when he can throw it consistently, the pitch throws many batters off. His control had been shaky since Single-A, but has improved vastly and he’s a pitcher that overtime can pound the strike zone with experience. His command however has been noted as lackluster and he has trouble locating both of his fastballs, which could explain his 78 walks this season in Triple-A.
Despite his command issues, Peralta has been big league ready for awhile now and he finally gets his shot at it tonight. In his only inning pitched in the major leagues, he gave up one run on three hits and struck out one. One inning definitely does not show the true colors of a pitcher, especially one young as Peralta. His numbers in Triple-A this season were a little higher than years past, a 7-11 record with a 4.66 ERA with 146.2 innings pitched. Inside those innings, Peralta struck out 143 batters and had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.8, which was higher than the previous three years. Now granted he only pitched 31 innings in 2011, but 2009 and 2010 were years that he also started. He’s getting stronger, but at the same time his high WHIP of 1.582 is a little concerning.
How will Peralta do tonight? Well, it’s hard to say. The Brewers have been playing some pretty decent ball as of late and perhaps Peralta will find himself in that groove as the game goes on. Much like Tyler Thornburg‘s first major league start, Ron Roenicke will more than likely be monitoring Peralta’s pitch count. My prediction is that Peralta goes five innings, gives up two runs on seven hits, strikes out four, walks two and in the end gets a no-decision. It’s not that Peralta is going to do bad, but realistically speaking, his command is an issue that just doesn’t dissipate overnight. Miami has had their struggles with their offense this season, but at the same time, they’re still major league ballplayers who can take Peralta out of the yard if he’s not careful.
It’s a guessing game though to say whether or not Peralta is a starter heading into next year. My guess is you see how he does for this month and in Spring Training of next year. Personally, I think he’d be best suited for middle relief until Roenicke believes he should be starting. Perhaps Rogers may be only guy Peralta will be competing with for a starting job, because the rest of the rotation (Yovani Gallardo, Mike Fiers, Marco Estrada, Thornburg and maybe a free agent) is set for the time being. I wish Peralta the best of luck tonight and hopefully he’ll prove my prediction wrong and come out a winner instead.