Brewers starter Freddy Peralta left tonight’s start against the Giants in the third inning. The right-hander’s velocity dipped, and the club announced he’s battling shoulder fatigue. After the game, manager Craig Counsell informed reporters (including Adam McCalvy of MLB.com) that Peralta is likely headed back to the 15-day injured list.
It has to be a frustrating development for the 2021 All-Star, who already lost a good chunk of the year to a lat strain. Since returning from the IL, he’s had some trouble maintaining his strongest form every fifth day. Peralta hadn’t pitched since August 31, as the Brewers pushed his scheduled Monday start back to tonight to buy him a bit more rest. That unfortunately didn’t work out as intended, and it now seems the club will give him at least a couple weeks before he returns to the mound.
While it’s obviously not an ideal situation, both Peralta and Counsell indicated they weren’t especially concerned about his long-term health. Initial evaluations didn’t reveal any structural concerns, and the club is confident the issue is simply one of fatigue. Peralta flatly told reporters (including Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) that he’ll pitch again this season, expressing confidence he just needs some time to rest his arm.
The injuries have prevented Peralta from replicating last year’s form, when he worked to a 2.81 ERA through 144 1/3 innings. He’s still been plenty effective when healthy, carrying a 3.45 ERA with an above-average 26.6% strikeout rate, but he’s only been able to take the ball 15 times. Needless to say, losing roughly half a season’s workload from an arm of that caliber has been a tough blow for a Milwaukee club jockeying for a playoff spot.
The Brewers are already without Aaron Ashby, who’s been out since August 20 with shoulder inflammation. Milwaukee was dealt another scare yesterday when left-hander Eric Lauer left his start early and was diagnosed with an elbow strain. McCalvy relays tonight that an early MRI was encouraging, and Lauer will go for further evaluation tomorrow. Milwaukee hasn’t placed him on the injured list to this point, so it seems there’s still a chance he’ll be able to make his next start.
Despite Peralta’s early departure, the Brewers held on to sweep today’s doubleheader with San Francisco. That pulled them within 2 1/2 games of the Phillies for the National League’s final Wild Card spot with roughly a month left on the schedule.