Looking back, it's hard to imagine how anyone envisioned the Brewers competing for the postseason, and to make matters worse, guys like Lohse, Estrada and Yovani Gallardo haven't lived up to the billing in 2013, and Fiers' luck recently went from bad to worse.
Peralta was excellent following his promotion last season, going 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA. He only walked roughly two hitters per start and didn't allow a single home run.
Now, coming off yet another forgettable outing against the Cincinnati Reds, Peralta is 4-8 with a 6.08 ERA. While he's still only walking just over two hitters every time he takes the hill, the strike outs aren't there for Peralta -- he's averaging just 5.1 K/9 despite his mid-90s fastball.
Peralta is only making it through 5 1/3 innings per start on average, and going deep into games has been an issue with the entire rotation. Time has helped to even things out a bit lately, but Peralta has been the only starter not to show signs of turning it around -- he's won just one game since May 7.
Why Peralta isn't getting many swings and misses is because he's been rather predictable considering he only trusts his straight fastball and slider. Those two pitch types account for around 92 percent of his pitches via Fangraphs, which isn't what you want to see from a starting pitcher.
These statistics would indicate Peralta wouldn't crack a majority of starting rotations in the big leagues, but the question remains -- who would be worthy of replacing him?
Well, maybe no one. At least right now.
The Brewers have gone with a four-man starting rotation lately with Gallardo, Lohse, Peralta and Alfredo Figaro, and both Estrada and Hiram Burgos on the disabled list. Estrada was placed on the DL on June 5, and Burgos is set to return soon after making his first rehab start with Class-A Wisconsin on June 14.
The unfortunate reality is that the Brewers are simply running out of bodies. Ideally, they would probably like to have Peralta down at Nashville with Tyler Thornburg, Johnny Hellweg and Jimmy Nelson, but that might not be a realistic possibility with Burgos, Estrada and Chris Narveson on the DL.
Even assuming Burgos makes it back to the rotation soon, he doesn't need to replace anyone, especially with the way Figaro has performed. But by the time Estrada is ready to come back, that's when Milwaukee could look at sending Peralta down for a stint at Triple-A Nashville.
There is also the option of recalling Thornburg, who was promoted when Estrada went on the DL. Thornburg has struggled badly with Nashville, but during his short stay in Milwaukee, he pitched four scoreless inning of relief.
Both Thornburg and Peralta are highly regarded inside the Brewers organization, and both are only 24 years old. The only difference is that Peralta has been in Milwaukee's system since 2006, and Thornburg since just 2010.
Peralta was converted from a position player, so the process should be expected to take longer with him, but he can only be raw for so long. If the Brewers want to take it easy with guys like Hellweg and Nelson, you would think they would want to do the same with Peralta, especially with the season seemingly a lost cause.
Again, it comes down to a lack of options, both due to injury and the development of prospects. The decision to allow Hellweg and Nelson to progress is the right one, but the decision to send Peralta down so he can regain some confidence in his off-speed pitches -- and confidence in general -- is one Milwaukee also needs to weigh.
Peralta may have won out this spring and earned a spot in the starting rotation, but as we've watched him falter all season long at the big league level, we've also seen many young arms impress at the minor league level. Those young arms could have included Peralta.
Hopefully, the Brewers don't find themselves asking "what if?" down the road.
Dave Radcliffe is a resident of a little known Milwaukee suburb who is an avid follower of Wisconsin sports. He has contributed to JSOnline, as a featured columnist on other sites and publications, and been a guest on multiple sports talk radio shows.
You can get the discussion going and follow Dave on Twitter @DaveRadcliffe_ .
- Sports & Recreation
- Milwaukee Brewers
- Wily Peralta
- Kyle Lohse