Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
“Major League” is a classic baseball movie that brings its viewers to uncontrollable laughter. And for Milwaukee Brewers fans, the film is even more special.
It was filmed in Milwaukee’s County Stadium and Brewers radio voice Bob Uecker played a big role. Without ‘Mr. Baseball’, “Major League” wouldn’t be as popular as it is and we would have heard the unforgettable phrase, “juuuuuuust a bit outside.”
But besides its ties to the Brewers, the movie introduced us to the ‘Wild Thing’, also known as Ricky Vaughn, also known as Charlie Sheen. Throughout the flick, Vaughn, who owned a fiery fastball, struggled with his command and, at one point, even took off someone’s head.
In 2013, the Brewers had their own ‘Wild Thing’ in Wily Peralta.
The 24-year-old was fifth in the National League in wild pitches with 12, 18th in hit batters with seven, and only seven NL pitchers threw more balls than he did. Peralta also had the fourth-highest BB/9 (3.58).
To fully understand how wild Peralta was, take this into account. St. Louis Cardinals’ ace Adam Wainwright threw 546 more pitches than Peralta last season but Peralta still outnumbered Wainwright by 15 in terms of balls thrown.
Even in the minors, Peralta fought with strike zone consistency. During his six seasons down on the farm, he totaled 41 wild pitches and and 34 hit batters.
Peralta’s abundance of wild pitches is cause for concern. More often than not, Peralta is paired with backup catcher Martin Maldonado, who is considered to be a step up defensively from Jonathan Lucroy. If a top-notch defensive catcher like Maldonado can’t contain at least some of Peralta’s untamed pitches, nobody can. It’s up to Peralta to fix this problem.
I don’t know if it’s a mechanical issue or a grip issue, but Peralta won’t prosper until he puts a leash on his pitches, as Ricky Vaughn did.