The move continues! ESPN released their latest Power Rankings this morning and the Brewers have moved up to No. 23, two spots from a week ago when they were No. 25. This is the highest the Brewers have been ranked by ESPN so far this season.
My comments reflected the biggest news that transpired for the Brewers this week (outside of the draft). It was something we all knew was coming. Wily Peralta simply did not have it this season:
Wily Peralta finally claimed a victory Saturday against the Mets, hitting his first career home run in the process. However, the right-hander was sent down to Triple-A Colorado Springs as Matt Garza is set to return to the rotation in the coming days. — Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3), Disciples of Uecker
I was one of the hopeful ones at the beginning of the year when I held out the belief that he would bounce back to his 17-game winning year, but that simply wasn’t in the cards.
It was a train wreck for the righty. Habits of poor location and command continued to remain untouched. Pitches would frequently float into the batters’ wheelhouses, leaving a nice bat path all that was needed for solid contact and damage. Peralta would always have difficulty getting ahead in the count as well, which transpired into his highest BB% since 2013 at 8.7 percent. His K% also failed to recover from the tremendous blow it took last year. Coming into the 2015 season, Peralta was coming off that brilliant 17-game win campaign and a year that saw his K% sit at an incredible 40.0 percent. It dipped all the way down to 12.6 percent in 2015 and only rose a tick to 13.6 percent in 2016.
There’s still debate surrounding the action of sending Peralta down to Colorado Springs. Obviously the Brewers want him to regain some of his success that he’s shown to possess, it’s just going about the best way to find it. It’s not a controversy of whether or not he should have been taken out of the rotation. I think every fan can agree that that was the correct move. Some feel as if the right decision would have been to move Wily to the bullpen instead of demoting him to Triple-A.
Right now, I would throw my support at the move of putting him in Triple-A. I know Colorado Springs is a place where pitchers go to suffer and Taylor Jungmann has yet to land on his feet. However, chemistry is a vital aspect to the game of baseball and right now, nearly everything’s going right in the bullpen. In the last month, the Brewers’ pen has boasted the ninth best ERA in baseball. Inserting Peralta into that rotation may have not been the most ideal scenario for both sides involved, thus Triple-A posing an opportunity for him to rebound.
The silver lining that surrounds the demotion of Peralta to Triple-A is the fact that the Brewers still have quality pitching at the MLB level. Just think about it: Outside of Peralta’s starts, the starting pitching hasn’t been that bad. We’re beginning to see more and more quality innings thrown by players not named Jimmy Nelson and look at what it’s getting the teams: more wins. One of those players that’s been lights out as of late is Zach Davies.
Davies continued his magnificent streak into Sunday’s start, as at one point, he retired 17 Mets in a row. So far, the month of June has been on his side. In 15 innings pitched, Davies has boasted a 1.20 ERA, allowing only 5 hits and holding batters to an average of .104 and an OBP of .157. How is Davies doing this? By using excellent command. And man, do I mean excellent. His heat map below will illustrate what I’m talking about:
Now, let me tell you folks. This is on the level of Marcus Stroman’s heat map. It also epitomizes that one of the most essential keys as a pitcher: Keep your pitches down, and good things are bound to happen. It’s something that was instilled in me all the way through my baseball career and it’s no different at the MLB level.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed as well that this doesn’t turn out to be a fluke from Davies either. I think that with more development and starts under his belt, he has the strong potential to emerge into a No. 4, maybe even a No. 3 over time. He definitely has a spot somewhere in this rotation, it’s just a matter of where.
Following yesterday’s stellar performance against the Mets, Davies’ stats showed eve
He and Junior Guerra have done a terrific job of serving as compliments to Jimmy Nelson and when they’re all on their game, this rotation can be above average.
Turning the page from pitching to offense, it’s now time to discuss something that was brought up in last week’s Power Rankings comments. Right behind the big boy bats of Braun, Lucroy, Villar and Carter, Hernan Perez has been exhibiting the fifth best OPS on the team at .792. His total slash line sits at .321/.352/.476, numbers that are quite respectable for a backup utility man. One of the defining qualities of his game is to garner success in multiple parts of the strike zone, as the data below will signify:
Keep an eye on Perez moving forward. Things definitely could get pretty interesting.
As I conclude this post, I’ll point out the fact that the Brewers are on pace for about the mid-70’s win total on the season. At the beginning of the year, I predicted they would win 74 games, which seems more and more likely. Hopefully the young guys keep receiving the proper development needed. This team is fun to watch and I doubt it’s going to be changing anytime soon. Keep your fingers crossed, folks. Who knows, maybe this team will break through the top 20 next week.