The Milwaukee Brewers dropped a crucial game to the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night. The starting pitcher, Freddy Peralta, was not all to blame, but he did struggle. What should the team do with the developing 22-year-old righty?
Peralta’s First Inning Struggles
It’s no secret that Peralta struggles in the first inning of almost every start. So far in his career, Peralta has a 9.00 ERA in the first inning. Hitters are starting to get some very good swings on him and the results obviously do not fall in the Milwaukee Brewers favor. Could it be that he has to learn another pitch, or just locate better?
In yesterday’s loss, Peralta went six innings, allowing three hits, and three runs, all of them earned. He did strike out five batters, however. This start is easily one of his better “bad” starts as of late.
What can be done about Peralta’s struggles?
There are many possibilities that can happen for Peralta. Maybe the Brewers being in the hunt for the playoffs is starting to affect him mentally. He knows that each start is becoming crucial, and that could be hurting his ability to concentrate on pitching.
Of course, there is always the option of sending him down and replacing him with an experienced arm. Zach Davies makes sense, but judging by his most recent rehab assignment, where he allowed three hits, four earned runs, and five walks in 3.2 innings, he may not be ready to rejoin the team just yet.
What is the best solution for Peralta?
Being thrown into the fire during a playoff hunt especially as a starter is a difficult task, but what if the Milwaukee Brewers could somehow find a way to use Peralta in the majors while still helping him gain confidence and develop?
They could simply switch him and current number one pitching prospect, Corbin Burnes in the bullpen. Burnes joins the rotation and Peralta takes over the long relief spot in the bullpen. This way, Peralta gets to be put into games in opportunities that match his current skill set. He will avoid the first inning for the rest of 2018 and Burnes gets a chance to show what he can do as a starter, which is his projected role in 2019.
Unfortunately, the Brewers have already stated that Burnes is not going into the rotation this year, and trying to stretch him out this late in the season could do more harm than good.
It could be a win-win for the Milwaukee Brewers if they decided to stretch out Burnes and give Peralta a chance to build some confidence.