The Milwaukee Brewers have a spring training rotation battle that is going to come down to the wire. There are several deserving candidates, but not enough spots for all of them.
Someone is going to miss out on the initial starting rotation for the Milwaukee Brewers to start the 2019 season. Between the veterans like Zach Davies and Chase Anderson and the young guns like Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta, there are only four available spots for those five pitchers.
Freddy Peralta is one of those candidates on the fringe, but here’s why he deserves to make the rotation.
The Case For Freddy Peralta Making The Rotation
At 22 years old, Freddy Peralta made quite the splash last season, joining the starting rotation and making 14 starts during the regular season. He finished with a 4.25 ERA, but his 3.72 FIP shows he pitched better than that number indicates.
His 4.6 BB/9 could use some improvement, but his strong strikeout numbers, 11 K/9, are what give the Milwaukee Brewers such optimism about his future. Peralta hides the ball well and makes his 94 MPH fastball seem like 98 MPH.
This spring, Peralta has pitched in three Cactus League contests. In 7.1 innings, he has a 6.14 ERA, but that was inflated by one inning that got out of his control. A dropped third strike and a fly ball lost in the sun led to that downward spiral of an inning. In such a small sample size, don’t let the ERA fool you.
Peralta also has 12 strikeouts in those 7.1 innings, tied for most on the team this spring. The only pitcher with 12 strikeouts in less innings than Peralta is Josh Hader. That’s pretty good company for the young Peralta. He’s also walked just three hitters in those innings. Limiting those walks is key for Peralta in the long term.
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During his last start, he struggled with command issues a little bit, only getting through 3.1 innings on his 60 pitches that he was allotted. He looked dominant at times, getting a ton of strikeouts. But there are just at-bats where he loses his command for a little bit. That will need to be cleared up.
Regardless of the occasional walk that he gives up, Peralta has an extremely high ceiling and a ton of potential. He could end up being a No. 2 starter when it’s all said and done. There is much more optimism in the air for Peralta than there is for Davies or Anderson. Peralta has simply looked better this spring than Anderson. It’s debatable how he’s looked compared to Davies, but the last outing for Davies left a sour taste in everyone’s mouths.
Will Peralta Make The Rotation?
I think there’s a very real chance Peralta starts the season in Triple-A. He’s young, he has options, and he still has a few command issues to work on.
But I also see a very real chance that he makes the Opening Day roster and sticks in the rotation. He’s pitched well this spring and was a key member of last year’s staff. As a young starter with a high ceiling, sometimes the team just has to give him the starting opportunities and let him go. He has to establish himself eventually, and the best way to do that is just to let him pitch.
I’d like to see Peralta make this rotation over Chase Anderson or Zach Davies, but that’s not a given at this point. It could go either way, but there’s a very strong case for Peralta to make this starting rotation.
The Milwaukee Brewers will have quite the decision to make with their starting rotation this spring. They have to knock it down to five starters to begin the season and then Jimmy Nelson will join the group at some point hopefully soon after.