Peralta becomes a true “pitcher” in Milwaukee

PHOENIX – Since returning from the disabled list in early August after missing 2 1/2 months with a strained lateral muscle, Freddy Peralta He has had one of the best stretches of his career. Of course, the continuation of that for the Dominican right-hander will be key in the Brewers’ fight for qualification.

Peralta, still struggling with physical recovery from games—and with his Monday departure delayed until at least Thursday—has a 2.43 ERA and slugging against just .284 in six starts since returning to action. That includes a 6.0-inning no-hit, no-run outing vs. the Cubs on Aug. 26.

“I think Freddy has pitched really good,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We have always talked about how Freddy has “outstuffed” the opposite (beat him with his superior material) with his great condition, but now he has pitched well in sequences and their secondary releases have looked better than ever.”

Indeed, when Peralta moved up to the majors in 2018, he used his four-seam fastball 77.7% of the time, mixing it with a curveball and on a few occasions, a changeup. Now, at 26, the Moca native has become that “pitcher” that Counsell describes. His four-seam fastball is still his main weapon, but he uses it 55.0% of the time, along with a slider (19.0%), curveball (14.9%) and changeup (11.1%). The result is a 4-3 overall record with a 3.56 ERA in 14 2022 starts, 3.08 FIP and 113 ERA+.

“I think it’s about experience,” Counsell said of Peralta’s evolution. “It’s interesting. The fastball has always had that speed, but he has executed secondary pitches very well, keeping hitters off balance.

“Guys like Freddy come into the league so quickly, and a lot of times it’s because of one dominant pitch. They just throw that pitch because no one hit it, so they keep throwing it. But this league forces pitchers to make adjustments. The players who endure and are successful are the ones who know how to make adjustments. And that’s what Freddy is doing. That’s what it takes to be successful for a long time.”

For his part, Peralta sees a more general picture.

“The key to everything is always respect for discipline at work, first,” said Peralta. “Surround yourself with good people, who know you and who you really are, what you need to improve day by day… there is always something to learn.

“There are always small adjustments, in the middle of every game. There is always something to work on. Sometimes it’s locations, sometimes it’s better to break up the pitch, slow down a pitch… It depends on the game, the adjustments that have to be made”.

With the Brewers 2.5 games behind the Phillies for the final NL Wild Card, Milwaukee’s strength—its starting pitching—has been well bolstered by the return of Peralta, who has been gearing up for about six more starts.

“This month is one of the strongest months for me and for many players, because it is the month in which there is the strongest competition,” Peralta said. “It is the month in which the body feels a little more tired, where one has to get out of the bottom. Pitching more with the heart and desire.

“I’ve had a little bit of physical problems, but I think it’s normal. We are here, pulling pa’lante”.

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Peralta becomes a true “pitcher” in Milwaukee