11:27am: Garza will indeed take Peralta’s place, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
10:54am: 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 fellow veteran right-hander Matt Garza could be the choice on the heels of making his final rehab start earlier this week. Garza hasn’t yet pitched for the Brewers this year because of a back injury.
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, believe it or not, as he clubbed a 429-foot home run off Mets starter Logan Verrett.
In 66 frames prior to today’s demotion, Peralta pitched to an unsightly 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, which puts him ahead of just eight other starters.The wheels began falling off last year for Peralta, who struck out a meager 4.97 hitters per nine innings and recorded a 4.72 ERA in 108 2/3 frames. He 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 logged 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, though it’s possible the Brewers will simply non-tender him at season’s end.