Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Wily Peralta is struggling right now. There’s no doubt about that. But can we narrow down what’s going on?
Wily Peralta struggled in the 8-1 loss today to the Phillies, and Adam McCalvy reported that the Milwaukee Brewers plan to keep him in the starting rotation. Here are the tweets regarding that.
He’s having a hard time keeping pitches in the black, with the ninth worst strikes minus walks rate at 4.9%. It’s hard to make good pitching plays when you’re not striking out a bunch of guys.
In his defense, he isn’t giving up that many homers either, 45 other qualified pitchers have given up more than him. He’s only given up nine in 11 games, or less than one per game.
Things certainly could be worse for the Milwaukee Brewers pitcher.
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Being able to put pitches where you want is pretty important. And if you look at the heat maps below, Peralta has been putting his slider consistently in the same place.
On the left you see 2016 heat map for his slider whereas on the right you see 2015.
He’s put the majority of his slider on the right corner just outside the strikeout zone, and that’s consistent between this year and last year. So location isn’t necessarily an issue for the Milwaukee Brewers pitcher.
Maybe its velocity then? A slower speed would certainly account for part of why he’s been bad as of late. He has a top ten velocity among pitchers with at least 300 IP since 2012, so maybe a decrease in velocity would tell us something? His velocity is down between this season and last, having gone from a 94.3 velo to a 94.1 velo.
Except 0.2 ticks is a typical speed loss, one that you would expect to get as a pitcher ages. After all, not every pitcher is going to have the same velocity each year as they age. There are some exceptions to this, but this seems like a typical speed loss and nothing too worrisome.
It seems like there isn’t all that much wrong with Wily Peralta. We’ve just placed high expectations on him as a pitcher (understandably after his 2014 season) and we shouldn’t have. It’s all possible he’s having trouble controlling his pitches, but that doesn’t seem likely either as he’s only walked nine percent of the batters this season.
Heat maps courtesy of BrooksBaseball.net