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The Milwaukee Brewers' deep starting rotation suffered a blow last Friday. Left-hander Chris Narveson, the team's fifth starter, could miss the rest of the season due to a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder.
In the meantime, the Brewers plan to utilize veteran Marco Estrada as the stop gap fifth starter. In the frenzy of the Brewers' roster shuffling over the weekend, Wily Peralta, whom many consider the club's top pitching prospect, was promoted from Triple-A Nashville to replace reliever Kameron Loe (bereavement leave) on the 25-man roster.
Peralta, who was being used as a starter in Nashville, made his major league debut Sunday in a ninth-inning relief stint during Milwaukee's 4-1 loss to Colorado. In one inning, Peralta allowed one run on three hits. The Dominican showed a live fastball that ranged from 93 to 97 mph on the radar gun and struck out Tyler Colvin on a 97 mph fastball.
While Peralta may ultimately be the Brewers' long-term solution to replace Narveson, his stay in Milwaukee is expected to be an abbreviated one, because Loe returns on Tuesday.
Carter running out of time
Peralta, who turns 23 next month, has logged only eight career starts at the Triple-A level, and the Brewers would like him to get a little more experience to work on his secondary pitches. In 48 innings there, Peralta has compiled a 2-1 record, a 2.06 ERA and a 53:17 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has yet to allow a home run.
Standing at 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, Peralta is a thick, husky pitcher with broad shoulders. Looking at his stocky build, it's no surprise that the Dominican righty is able to dial up his four-seamer into the mid-90s. Peralta also throws an effective two-seam fastball, an above-average slider and a developing changeup.
The major knock on Peralta is his so-so command. The early returns from Nashville (13:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 17 innings) prove that he hasn't been that sharp even though he has a 2.12 ERA through three starts. Peralta profiles as a No. 3 starter. He could be a No. 2 if he makes huge strides improving his command.
Even though his current major league stay is likely to be short, there's a pretty decent chance that he spends three or four months as a fixture in the Brewers' rotation this year. Based on that, he's worth an add in NL-only leagues if one can afford to stash him.
Arizona Diamondbacks starter Dan Hudson (shoulder) has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. Much to the chagrin of fantasy owners, his spot in the rotation won't be taken by one of the club's blue-chip prospects, Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer. Instead, the D-Backs are going to move left-handed pitcher Wade Miley from the bullpen to the rotation for at least one start.
Meanwhile, Bauer improved to 4-0 after striking out eight over seven shutout innings in Double-A Mobile's 8-1 win over Jacksonville Saturday. He allowed four hits and walked only two, the fewest free passes he has issued in a game this year. Contrary to reports, Bauer was not promoted to Triple-A Reno after the game.
His teammate Skaggs (0-2, 3.63 ERA) is still looking for his first win of the season but has arguably pitched better than Bauer (0.40 ERA) even though their ERAs are more than three runs apart. In 17 1/3 innings, Skaggs has put up a 27:3 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Bauer has a 28:14 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 22 2/3 innings.
While this competition is fluid, there is a camp of evaluators who believe Skaggs is in line to get the first call among the duo because he has exhibited superior command and has more professional experience.
Bryce Harper is no longer homerless in Triple-A ball. The 19-year-old went deep yesterday in Syracuse's 6-1 loss to Buffalo, the first game of a doubleheader. In 64 at-bats, Harper is hitting .234 with one home run, two RBIs, five runs scored, one steal and a .675 OPS.
Harper is the youngest player in Triple-A and the youngest position player in the International League by roughly a year and four months, so there's no reason to be alarmed by the slow start out of the gates. For fantasy managers who were expecting an early May call-up, that is looking like a pipedream.
Throughout his professional career, Harper has been overmatched at times, but when he finally figures it out, he becomes a machine at the plate. If Harper can adjust to Triple-A pitching in the next five to six weeks, a June promotion is not out of the question.
Post-hype prospect Chris Carter slammed three home runs and drove in five during Triple-A Sacramento's 12-4 thumping of Reno yesterday.
Now 25, the Oakland Athletics' first base prospect is hitting .288 with four home runs, 14 RBIs, 12 runs scored and an .897 OPS in 66 at-bats with Sacramento. Big deal: Carter has hammered minor league pitching for his entire career - to the tune of 174 home runs and a .540 slugging percentage in eight seasons.
That success hasn't translated to the major league level; he holds a career .167 average and an ugly 41 strikeouts to only nine walks in 114 at-bats. He also has three home runs and seven RBIs. Although his major league stints have been brutal, he has shown enough high-end slugging in the minors to deserve a look of more than 114 at-bats.
Carter is down to his third and last option, so this season will be his last chance to show the A's that he can be a serviceable slugger at the big league level.