Midwest Diamond Report Blog - 8/17
The Brewers will send Wily Peralta to the mound Sunday afternoon in an attempt to sweep the Dodgers. At 25, Peralta has found himself in some impressive company this season.
The Brewers’ righthander was the first pitcher in the big leagues to reach 14 wins -- by a few hours over the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright. He has spent much of the season among the leaders in wins and in other categories.
That has included Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke and Wainwright, among others.
"There's a lot of great starting pitchers out there, and to be able to be among them, that's amazing, a great feeling," Peralta said after winning his 14th on Aug. 7. "That's a thing that I've been working hard [for] in the off-season and been working hard in the season to be on top.
“That's a few Cy Young guys. That's what I've been working for. I've improved in pretty much everything. My command has been unbelievable this year, and that's something I was struggling with last year. I was working behind the counts on hitters. I said in spring that was one of my goals -- attack hitters.
"I've been given the opportunity," Peralta added. "My other teammates are going to do it, too. I've been given the opportunity and I've been doing the job."
Peralta has been considered a prospect since signing as a non-drafted free agent in 2005. He missed the 2007 season with Tommy John surgery, but worked his way back. He first came up to the Brewers in 2012, going 2-1, with a 2.48 ERA, in six games.
Last season, he started slow, but came on as the season went on, producing 17 quality starts while finishing 11-15. He’s tried to take a similar approach this season.
“Doing same thing I was doing last year,” Peralta said when asked what he has been doing right.. “Trying to be consistent. It was great last year.
“(Rick) Kranitz helps me a lot. He’s a great coach. I’m just going to go out there and do the best I can do. I try to keep it off my mind. Try to not have too much to think about.”
Peralta unofficially has taken over the Brewers’ ace role and that of stopper. He and rookie Jimmy Nelson could end up providing a 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation for years to come.
For a full feature on Peralta, check out a feature in a September issue of Game Day, the Brewers’ program.
Player of the Week
Mike Fiers was called up to replace injured Matt Garza and won two games within eight days, striking out 14 Cubs batters last Thursday. For that, he earns the MDR Player of the week honor.
Other MDR teams’ Players of the Week include:
** the Cubs’ Kyle Kendricks, who held the Brewers scoreless in a Chicago win.
** the Twins’ Phil Hughes, who beat the Royals for his 13th win of the season.
** the White Sox’s Adam Dunn, who hit .467 with two homers and five RBIs during the week.
** After coming up empty at the non-waiver trade deadline, the Brewers are still actively seeking to fortify their bullpen, principal owner Mark Attanasio told MLB.com Saturday.
** SS Jean Segura missed Saturday’s game after bruising a hand while breaking up a double play.
** RHP Matt Garza, who remains on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, played catch for the second straight day and threw all of his pitches.
** Outfielder Matt Szczur is being called up Sunday and RHP Dan Straily was added on Saturday to make a spot start.
** Outfielder Junior Lake was optioned to Iowa to make room on the 25-man roster for Straily
** Cubs top prospect Kris Bryant had to leave Saturday's game with Triple-A Iowa before the third inning after apparently aggravating a minor foot injury.
** Danny Santana made his first start at shortstop, his natural position, since June and could stay at the position for a while.
** Reliever Anthony Swarzak threw without any issues on Friday and Saturday, and said he's been cleared to make his return after sustaining a sprained right ankle on Tuesday.
** The Twins optioned RHP Yohan Pino to Triple-A Rochester to make room for RHP Ricky Nolasco, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list to start Friday's game against the Royals.
** Versatile outfielder Avisail Garcia has rejoined the White Sox just four months after tearing the labrum in his left shoulder.
** The White Sox maded a series of roster moves on Saturday: left-hander Charlie Leesman was designated for assignment, outfielder Moises Sierra was placed on the disabled list, right-hander Javy Guerra was placed on the bereavement list and left-hander Eric Surkamp was recalled to take Guerra's spot.
** Carlos Rodon, the White Sox top pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, will be promoted to Triple-A Charlotte following four games with Class A Winston-Salem.
Elsewhere In Baseball
The Lakeshore Chinooks won their first Northwoods League championship by sweeping the Mankato MoonDogs in the Summer Collegiate World Series. Joe Pavlovich (UW-Oshkosh) went six shutout innings in the win for the Chinooks and allowed just four hits while striking out seven.
Teammate Jake Tuttle (UW-Milwaukee) went the final three innings for the save. The Chinooks got run support as Luke Meeteer (UW-Milwaukee) hit a solo home run and Brett Siddall (Cansius) added a RBI single.
The Brewers will continue their drive for a post-season spot by hosting the Blue Jays and Pirates at Miller Park this week.
After completing a wrap-around series with the Mets on Monday, the Cubs return to Wrigley Field to host the Giants.
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