What a difference a day makes. Yesterday, under beautiful skies at Miller Park, Wily Peralta, the Brewers opening day starting pitcher, beat the New York Mets and hit his first Major League home run to gain a win. Today he has been demoted to the dregs of the minor leagues. Once the powerful hopeful, he is now twisting in doubt on a flight to Colorado Springs. It is the biggest of falls from grace.
The announcement was made Sunday morning. Yet it wasn’t even put on Milwaukee’s website. It was announced through the press. The Brewers have optioned Opening Day starter Wily Peralta to Triple-A Colorado Springs, per a team announcement. There’s no official word on a replacement, though veteran right-hander Matt Garza could be the choice as he has been making his final rehab start earlier this week. Garza hasn’t yet pitched for the Brewers this year because of a back injury. Many think that is a good thing.
Wily Peralta took the hill for the Brewers in their 7-4 win over the Mets on Saturday, striking out four batters and surrendering three earned runs on five hits and a walk in five innings. Given the way Peralta has performed in 2016, that so-so outing counts as one of his best of the year. The highlight of his day came as a hitter, as he blasted a 429-foot home run off Mets starter Logan Verett, his first in the Majors. But something was up when Counsell jerked him in the 6th, with a very limited pitch count. Something was up.
In 66 innings this season, Peralta had a huge 6.68 ERA, the worst mark among the majors’ qualified starters, with 42 strikeouts and 27 walks. His K/BB ratio sits at 1.56, puts him ahead of just eight other starters. Peralta was a more reliable option the previous two years, combining for a 3.93 ERA, 6.67 K/9 and 3.16 BB/9 across 64 starts and 382 innings. At his best, Peralta had a 3.53 ERA, 6.98 K/9 and 2.76 BB/9 in 198 1/3 innings just two seasons ago.
Peralta, 27, is on a $2.8MM salary this year and is slated to make two more trips through arbitration. However, with the new GM, it is possible the Brewers will simply non-tender him at season’s end.
What a fall.
Imagine, at the beginning of April, the big right hander was at the top of his career…making his first Opening Day start. That is an honor for any pitcher in baseball. Today, his career has crashed. It will take a lot of mental toughness to make the fall stop, even himself out and do the hard work of making the climb back up to the Show.
Today the Brewers have Nelson, Davies, Anderson and Guerra. Can they make it happen with this rotation?
So long, Wily. We had so much hope for you.