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 was battling shoulder fatigue. After the game, manager Craig Counsell informed reporters (including MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy) that Peralta is likely going back to the 15-day injured list.
It has to be a frustrating development for the 2021 All-Star, who has already missed a good chunk of the year with a lat strain. Since returning from the IL, he has had some trouble maintaining his strongest form every fifth day. Peralta hasn’t pitched since Aug. 31, as the Brewers pushed back his scheduled Monday start to tonight to buy him a little more rest. That unfortunately didn’t work out as intended, and now it looks like the club will give him at least a few weeks before he returns to the mound.
While it’s obviously not an ideal situation, both Peralta and Counsell indicated they’re not particularly concerned about his long-term health. Initial evaluations have not revealed any structural concerns, and the club is confident the issue is simply one of fatigue. Peralta categorically told reporters (incl Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) that he will pitch again this season, expressing confidence that he just needs some time to rest his arm.
The injuries prevented Peralta from replicating last year’s form, when he worked to a 2.81 ERA through 144 1/3 innings. He’s still very effective when healthy, carrying a 3.45 ERA with an above-average 26.6% strikeout rate, but he’s only been able to catch the ball 15 times. Needless to say, losing roughly half a season’s worth of work from an arm of that caliber was a tough blow for a Milwaukee club jockeying for a playoff spot.
The brewers are already out Aaron Ashby, who has been out since August 20 with shoulder inflammation. Milwaukee got another scare yesterday when the 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 in for further evaluation tomorrow. Milwaukee hasn’t placed him on the injured list to this point, so it looks like 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 about a month left in the schedule.