It may only be mid-May, but it feels like the Milwaukee Brewers are hitting their mid-season form: inconsistent offense, quality and surprising starting pitching, and an absolutely dominant bullpen.
Those have been the markings of this franchise for over two seasons now and it seems like that identity is sticking true. Although, Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich will likely have something to say about that offense.
This past week also featured another staple in the Brewers identity. Amazing, cardiac-inducing finishes. Rallying from six runs down, the Brewers won yet another game in their final at-bat against the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
Now for some hot takes (and some cold takes) from the previous week of action!
Freddy Peralta is good
This is quite possibly the coldest of cold takes. The 21 year old right hander is electric. His dazzling, franchise record-breaking debut on Sunday was really just a continuation of what he has been doing his whole career in the minors.
His career minor league ERA is 3.31. In six seasons the starter has only given up a career total of 20 home runs, 162 walks and has struck out 470. He is and always has been a prospect with a very high ceiling, continuing to advance through the farm system ahead of schedule.
The start on Sunday shows he is not just due for this one spot-start, and then to continue developing in the minors. He will and should get more starts. Peralta is known for his great changeup, a pitch he did not even need to use to dominate the Rockies lineup.
Instead, he induced 12 strikeouts on his deceptive fastball (13 total).
After only 5.2 innings of work in the majors I’m confident in saying Peralta will be a household name, not just in Wisconsin, but in the homes of rival team fans. They will shudder at the sound of his name.
Dominating is not knew for Peralta, he has been doing so since he was 19 and first with the Brewers (Thank you, Adam Lind trade).
Bring up more young players!
With the success of Peralta, and what could have been had Mauricio Dubon prior to an ACL tear, as well as a couple positions where upgrades may be needed, some fans are tempted to look to the farm.
For the past few seasons, Milwaukee’s general manager has done a great job bringing in excellent minor league talent. Slowly but surely, they have all worked their way up. Still, many of them are sitting in Colorado Springs in the Triple A league.
There is Corbin Burnes, the Brewers top rated pitching prospect who has a 4.91 ERA, but also only given up 12 walks and has racked up 38 strikeouts.
Catching prospect Jacob Nottingham has been absolutely crushing at the Triple A level, sporting a .354 batting average and a 1.08 OPS. He has also crushed five home runs and has 17 RBIs on the season.
But I contend bringing up “young” minor league players is not what this team needs after bringing up Peralta. That doesn’t mean minor league players won’t be called up.
Enter Nate Orf.
At 28 years old, he is not exactly young by baseball accounts. But as the best hitter in Colorado Springs this season, he is exactly what the bottom of the Brewers batting order needs.
A second baseman who is consistent.
He has been with the Brewers since being drafted by them in 2013 and slowly worked through every level of the minors.
Orf is not highly touted or thought of but just look at his stats.
A .357 batting average, 10 doubles, 21 RBIs, eight stolen bases, only an 18 percent K% and only two errors (something the second basemen for the Brewers have struggled with).
If David Stearns had a twitter, I would @ him demanding to know why Orf has not been called up already. It is not the younger prospects we need, but the elder travelers of the minor league system.