Game 117, Brewers at Mariners
King Felix vs. Wily Peralta, 1:10pm
So this series could’ve gone better.
Today’s game pits King Felix against hard-throwing righty Wily Peralta. Peralta’s four- and two-seam fastballs average 95mph; his sinker’s the third-fastest in MLB behind Matt Harvey and Stephen Strasburg. His four-seamer’s in the top 10 as well, surrounded by flame-throwers like Jose Fernandez, Homer Bailey, Justin Verlander and Andrew Cashner. He pairs it with a sharp slider and the occasional change-up against lefties. His slider’s useful against lefties and righties alike, though he’s able to get righties to hit it on the ground, while lefties are able to elevate it a bit better. All in all, a mid-90s fastball and a good breaking ball along with a developing change up should be plenty, but Peralta’s K% looks nothing like Verlander’s/Harvey’s/Fernandez’s. His 15% mark is actually 81st out of 90 qualified starters, surrounded by Eric Stultz, Jhoulys Chacin, Bronson Arroyo and Mark Buehrle.
Great velocity, solid movement, and well below average contact rates. Part of the problem is that his command isn’t quite there yet. His walk rate’s a tad high, generated in part by the fact that he throws fewer pitches in the zone than average. Thus, he’s pitching from behind more than average, and 95mph can’t overcome that kind of disadvantage. In addition to some issues with command, he’s struggled a bit against lefties, as they’re more apt to drive his slider as opposed to rolling it over. Now, none of this makes him an awful pitcher. He’s just a work in progress. 95mph with great ground ball rates is a great place to start, and if his command improves, he could be excellent.
1: Miller, 2B
2: Chavez, RF
3: Seager, 3B
4: Morales, DH
5: Ibanez, LF
6: Smoak, 1B
7: Ackley, CF
8: Ryan, SS
9: Blanco, C
SP: El Cartelua
Stephen Pryor had surgery to repair his torn lat, which is a new one for me. It’s not a ligament/tendon issue, it just sounds like a torn muscle is re-joined surgically. Jake Peavy is among the very few players to have had this procedure.
Blake Beavan, Charles Kaalekahi and Anthony Vasquez start today in the M’s minors.