Freddy Peralta passing every test as Brewers ace with flying colors

The newly anointed leader of the starting rotation has been stellar to begin the 2024 season.
Apr 5, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Freddy Peralta (51) throws a pitch
Apr 5, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Freddy Peralta (51) throws a pitch / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Freddy Peralta has faced plenty of different challenges over the course of his now seven-year Major League career. The one he is currently facing in the 2024 season, though, is by far the toughest challenge yet.

The 27-year-old Peralta inherited the role of staff ace coming into this season. That title became available when the Brewers predictably ended up trading former ace Corbin Burnes to the Orioles during the offseason.

Peralta had the look of a rotation regular after a strong MLB debut back in 2018. But some fine tuning would be needed first as he would end up flipping between the starting rotation, the bullpen, and the minor leagues for a few years. Peralta would become a starter for good in 2021, the year he also made his lone NL All-Star appearance.

From 2021 to 2023, Peralta went 26-19 with a 3.41 ERA and 1.046 WHIP, striking out batters at a rate of 11.4 per nine innings. Those are the type of numbers that any team would love to see from a member of their rotation, but did it prove that the righty could one day be a staff ace?

In his initial tests as Brewers ace, right-hander Freddy Peralta is passing with flying colors.

Last night, the Brewers held on to their NL Central lead after winning an extra-inning battle with the rival Cardinals 2-1. Peralta was the one who first put Milwaukee in position to collect that win, throwing six scoreless innings and giving up just four hits and two walks while striking out seven.

St. Louis was just the latest victim of Peralta this season. "Fastball Freddy" has started four games now in 2024 and has given up either one or zero runs in three of them (and his other outing wasn't half bad as he only gave up three runs in that one). That included an outing against the dangerous Orioles where he gave up one run and struck out 11.

Most importantly, the Brewers have won all four of Peralta's starts.

On the whole, Peralta's numbers early in the 2024 season have been stellar. He has a 1.90 ERA in 23.2 innings and a National League leading 0.761 WHIP. His 12.5 K/9 rate would be the second highest mark of his career, exceeded only by the 14.4 K/9 he put up in 2020 working primarily out of the bullpen.

This has all come without any major changes to his repertoire. Peralta's pitch mix and velocities are pretty much the same as they were to end 2023 while his spin rates are up a bit but generally not by much.

The true tests will come when Peralta faces even fiercer competition. The Orioles and Mets were solid offenses for Freddy to shut down, but it will be harder to do the same against teams like the Dodgers, Braves, and Diamondbacks should he end up facing them.

Brewers fans will expect Peralta to excel in those situations as well considering he has passed every test thrown at him so far. One might even say he has "aced" them.