Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell has just announced that Wily Peralta will be removed from the rotation and will pitch out of the bullpen beginning this coming weekend in Chicago. What does this mean for Wily and what does it mean for the rotation?
This move has been a long time coming as Peralta was a weak spot in the rotation for most of the season. He leads the Milwaukee Brewers in home runs allowed, earned runs allowed, and walks. He has a 6.08 ERA and surrendered 45 hits in 40 innings of work.
Peralta’s first three starts of the year weren’t that bad, but he has struggled since. He has given up home runs in five of his last six starts, including four home runs allowed on April 26 against Cincinnati.
Coming off a Mother’s Day outing where he allowed seven runs in only 4 2/3 innings, Peralta has been removed from the starting rotation and sent to the bullpen. What will his role in the bullpen be, you might ask? Counsell won’t give any specific answers but it’s safe to assume that Peralta will become the long reliever in the bullpen.
This move may actually benefit Peralta in the long run. He hasn’t shown that he can be a dependable starter at the Major League level, but he does have a similar repertoire to a high-leverage relief pitcher.
Peralta is a power pitcher that depends on his velocity and ability to miss bats. But teams seem to get to him the second and third time around the lineup, so a move to the bullpen was inevitable. Because Peralta can throw his fastball in the upper 90’s with movement and is capable of generating a lot of strikeouts, he has the potential to become a lockdown relief pitcher.
Who’s Moving To The Rotation?
As for the rotation, everyone is wondering who will take his place. The probable choice among fans is likely going to be Josh Hader or Brandon Woodruff. Everyone is looking for those top prospects to finally arrive and we as fans seem impatient to finally see them. But it’s unlikely that we will see Hader or Woodruff come up just yet. Right-handed journeyman Paolo Espino is the most likely choice and this is why…
Espino was scheduled to start for the Brewers Triple-A affiliate, Colorado Springs, on Wednesday, but was mysteriously pulled prior to game time. This has all the makings of a call-up. Espino is 30 years old, hardly a prospect, but he owns to a 4-0 record with a 2.54 ERA in seven starts. The most eye popping stat has to be his K/BB ratio. He has struck out 40 hitters and allowed only five walks in the thin air Colorado Springs!
Espino is having a spectacular start to 2017 and it’s clear that the Milwaukee Brewers believe he has earned a call-up. Junior Guerra has one more rehab start before he returns to the rotation and the Milwaukee Brewers are unlikely to bring up one of their prized pitching prospects for only one start.
Keep in mind, this move isn’t official yet. Craig Counsell said he would have more news on the open rotation spot on Thursday.
The Milwaukee Brewers want to see what they have in Espino and if he can actually pitch at the Major League level. If he starts for the Brewers in the next few days, Espino will be making his Major League debut.
Espino is not on the 40-man roster, but the Brewers currently have an open spot, so they won’t need to cut anyone to make room.
Wily Peralta’s move to the bullpen had to happen eventually. Instead of starting the arbitration clock of Josh Hader or Brandon Woodruff, Paolo Espino is the most likely option to take Peralta’s place in the rotation.