Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell unveiled his five-man starting pitching rotation on Thursday and Freddy Peralta has landed the spot as the fifth and final starter in that rotation.
Peralta settled into the fifth spot after a solid spring in which he pitched 8 1/3 innings in three appearances with one start. He struck out 15 hitters, had a 1.08 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. In his last appearance, a start against Seattle, he allowed a home run and a walk with five strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings of work.
“I thought his last start against Seattle was a great example of, he’s pitching like a starting pitcher,” Counsell said. “The rhythm of the game, the pitches he used, the weapons he had for different hitters, different handed-ness of hitters…just really a complete step up from a couple years ago when he had to rely on the fastball, essentially.”
“He’s worked really hard to get to this place and I think he’s had a great spring. He’s added things to his game that I think give him a chance of having a great, great season.”
It means Josh Lindblom will start the season pitching out of the bullpen.
Counsell’s five-man rotation to start the season is Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, Adrian Houser, Brett Anderson and Peralta.
In 15 appearances last season (14 in relief), Peralta finished with a career-best 3.99 ERA. In 23 career starts, Peralta is 8-7 with a 5.45 ERA.
“This is a scenario where Josh is going to make a lot of starts for us,” Counsell said. “He pitched out of the pen at the end of last year, so he’s game for it. He knows what he has to do. I think he’s capable of pitching a lot of innings and we’re going to lean on him for that. He’s not going to start one of the first five games; after that, who knows?”