As in years past, Disciples of Uecker will be lending its voice to the ESPN Power Rankings, which come out on a weekly basis. This week, the Brewers appear at No. 25, two spots above their preseason ranking. Here are my comments to ESPN below:
Though they weren’t blown out in every game, it’s a known fact that the Brewers won’t be contending this season. Opening Day starter Wily Peralta has struggled by going 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA, lowering hopes of a bounce-back year. Fans in Milwaukee have accepted the inevitable rebuilding phase, as new GM David Stearns commences a new era of Brewers baseball.
Now, I know what many of you are probably thinking: But the Brewers are .500! There’s too much negativity surrounding that paragraph! To my credit, ESPN required a deadline of yesterday at noontime, which came prior to first pitch. Had it been later, I definitely would have mentioned Jimmy Nelson, who earned the win by allowing only two runs on three hits while striking out nine. However, due to restraints (re: both word count and deadline), I decided to take the Wily route.
I was at the forefront of hoping for a comeback season by Peralta. If you remember, I published an article a few weeks back on how he can improve his chances of being the headlining pitcher to this staff that so many desire him to be. I still hold out a sliver of hope regarding that necessary development occurring, but I’d be lying if I said I had not lost a large amount of hope in him. He just seems to never be able gather himself out on the hill. Consistency and composure are two adjectives that fail to define Peralta’s pitching, and two adjectives that go hand-in-hand when describing aces. Does he provide glimmers of fluent, agile pitching motions? Yes, but he fails to capitalize on it and keep the pattern progressing – which results in an unraveling of a whole bunch of problems (Ex: the back-to-back HR by Rasmus and White).
Maybe Wily will see my comments about him in ESPN’s Power Rankings and decide he’s had enough of it. Who knows, maybe this mini-rant at DoU will be the spark to turn him around (I can dream). He’s only made two starts so far, but boy, have they been ugly. That’s the beauty of baseball though – the opportunity of redemption makes itself available more than in any other sport. It’s just a matter of if Peralta develops better location (he’s all over the place), and a more consistent command and plate discipline.
Hopefully next week’s rankings will feature a praising of Jimmy Nelson. I feel bad for leaving his stellar performances out of this week’s comments (stupid deadlines), but the way he has thrown the ball in his first two starts has him on the inside track of achieving greater performances (man, was that curveball was a thing of beauty). There were also a few other worthy notes that I was unable to mention due to length (Scooter’s hot start and Jeffress being tied for league lead in saves with 3).
After considering all that’s transpired in the last week, expectations still remain low for the Crew, despite them opening up the year 3-3. But hey, that does leave a silver lining – perhaps they are better than a lot of fans attribute them for.