Freddy Peralta has made the Milwaukee Brewers’ NLDS and NLCS rosters, but has yet to appear in a game. Is he going to make his postseason debut this year?
The last time Freddy Peralta pitched in a game was on September 24 when the Milwaukee Brewers took on the St. Louis Cardinals. That was about three weeks ago now.
Peralta is taking up a roster spot this postseason in a vaunted bullpen that includes several starting pitchers that have been placed in a bullpen role in October. Junior Guerra and Brandon Woodruff have both appeared in games this postseason, however, Peralta has not.
Why Hasn’t Craig Counsell Gone To Peralta?
The easiest explanation of why Peralta hasn’t gotten into a game yet is that he’s a 22 year old rookie and the Brewers would rather go with someone more experienced at the big league level. Woodruff pitched a decent amount in the majors last season and has clearly jumped Peralta on the priority list for Counsell. Guerra has also been around awhile.
Despite the important role that Peralta played for the Milwaukee Brewers in the regular season, Counsell is in no hurry to bring Peralta into his first postseason game.
We don’t know how the pressure of the postseason would impact Peralta. Perhaps Counsell wants to wait for a low-leverage situation to ease the young righty into a playoff scenario and boost his confidence. And in case you haven’t noticed, there haven’t been too many low-leverage situations for the Brewers so far in October.
When Could Peralta Get Into A Game?
If Craig Counsell decides to go with another bullpen game during this NLCS, he could go with an opener and have Peralta go as far as he can without the Dodgers having advanced knowledge of him as the starting pitcher. That’s basically what the plan was in the bullpen game against the Cardinals when Dan Jennings got the start.
Also, if, for some reason, the Brewers are either up by a lot of runs or down by a lot, Counsell could bring in Peralta in a blowout scenario to get work in and to get experience in the postseason. A positive first outing could go a long way towards his future confidence in October baseball. For a close game situation, Peralta makes little sense to go to.
As we get deeper into the postseason, the odds of a blowout game and finding a low-leverage situation get smaller and smaller. If the Brewers aren’t going to use Peralta in games, why should they even keep him on the roster? Why not replace him with someone that will be used?
The postseason puts a huge toll on a bullpen and it’s best arms. If the Milwaukee Brewers are going to win the World Series, they need to keep their bullpen as healthy and rested as possible. Continuing to go to Corey Knebel, Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress, and Joakim Soria could wear them down as October rolls along. Peralta is a fresh arm, but he’s just as fresh as a Dan Jennings or Taylor Williams, who haven’t made either postseason roster.
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With a heavy reliance on the bullpen and only 12 pitchers on the roster, the Brewers are going to need to use every arm they have, and that includes Freddy Peralta.