Milwaukee Brewers: Jeremy Jeffress and Freddy Peralta Swap Spots on IL
By Matt Carroll
The Milwaukee Brewers announced two roster moves on Tuesday. One was expected, but the other was more of a surprise.
Early Tuesday afternoon, the Milwaukee Brewers officially announced that relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress had been reinstated from the 10-day injured list, a move that manager Craig Counsell had already stated would happen soon. But in a bit of a surprise, the team also announced that Freddy Peralta would take Jeffress’ place on the injured list with an injury to the SC joint in his throwing shoulder.
To further support that move, the Brewers conducted another pitcher swap. It was also announced that relief pitcher Jake Petricka would be optioned down Class-A Wisconsin in exchange for current Triple-A starter Aaron Wilkerson. It has not yet been announced who will take Peralta’s spot in the rotation.
Return of Jeffress
The return of Jeffress to the bullpen has been highly anticipated for a team that also lost reliever Corey Knebel for the year before the season began. Prior to that, Jeffress was pulled from his only Spring Training appearance with shoulder soreness that also caused a severe drop in pitch velocity.
His rehab stint with San Antonio wasn’t exactly inspiring if you just look at the stats. Jeffress allowed nine hits, three home runs, and had a 14.54 ERA in 4 1/3 innings with five strikeouts. However considering this is basically his Spring Training, the MIlwaukee Brewers main concern was just ensuring that his shoulder was healthy and that his velocity had mostly returned.
Petricka appeared in two games for the Brewers during his brief major league stint, both on the recent west coast road trip. He gave up two runs in an inning versus the Angels and pitched a scoreless inning against the Dodgers. Considering he was the final cut from the bullpen coming out of Spring Training, he’s sure to be back with the big league club later this year.
Help Wanted in the Rotation
Peralta reportedly suffered his injury during Monday night’s start against the Cardinals. Injuries to the SC joint, right where the clavicle meets the sternum, are relatively rare in baseball. Peralta’s injury is not thought to be long-term though.
Though the team hasn’t officially announced who will start in place of Peralta when his spot in the rotation comes up on Saturday versus the Dodgers, Wilkerson wouldn’t be a bad option based off of his start in the minors this year. So far in two starts, the right-hander has only given up one run in 11 1/3 innings with 12 strikeouts. Wilkerson made one start for the Brewers last year as well, giving up two runs in five innings in a loss to the Braves in July.
The Milwaukee Brewers do have other options to cover Peralta’s start in case they decide to not use Wilkerson as a starter and use him out of the bullpen instead. Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra are former Brewer starters currently working out of the pen, though Anderson isn’t exactly an inspiring choice and Guerra just got roughed up on Monday night against the Cardinals.
Another intriguing option could be recalling Adrian Houser from Triple-A in time for Saturday’s game. Houser has looked great so far this year, giving up only two runs in three starts and striking out 18 batters in 16 1/3 innings. A corresponding roster move would need to be made for that to happen though.
The Milwaukee Brewers bullpen has been up and down this year, so the return of Jeffress is welcome news. Having him back in the bullpen will allow Counsell to go back to a similar late-game rotation as last year if he so desires. Meanwhile, Wilkerson’s stay is expected to be short and is exact role is yet to be determined.