Broadcast information: Today's game will be on FS Wisconsin and WTMJ.
It's been a long, cold spring, but we're almost out of it.
We'll take one more step towards warm summer days tonight when Wily Peralta (5.74 ERA this spring, 2.45/2.68 ERA/FIP in 2012) is on the mound for the first baseball game in Milwaukee since October. This is Wily's fifth appearance of the exhibition season and his first since Sunday, when he pitched 5.1 innings against the Padres and allowed six runs on ten hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Before Sunday's start Peralta had only allowed one walk all spring, and if he keeps that up the sky may be the limit for him. Control issues have been Peralta's primary struggle in the minors, as noted by the fact that he walked nearly five batters per nine innings in AAA a year ago. When his control is good he has great stuff, though, with a mid-90's fastball, slider and changeup.
Peralta faced the White Sox in the Cactus League on February 28 and worked two scoreless innings, allowing two hits without a walk or a strikeout. He's never faced them during the regular season and, since their AAA affiliate is in the International League, he probably hasn't seen many of their minor leaguers either.
He'll face 25-year-old lefty Hector Santiago (4.15 ERA this spring, 3.33/4.70 ERA/FIP in 2012), who has just four career major league starts but is an option to fill the fifth starter role for the White Sox while John Danks is out. Five of Santiago's six appearances this spring have been in relief, including a two inning outing against the Rangers on Tuesday where he allowed two runs on six hits.
Santiago appeared in 42 games for the White Sox a year ago and was good, posting a 3.33 ERA while striking out over ten batters per nine innings. He will give up walks (5.1 per nine innings) and home runs (1.3 per nine), though. FanGraphs says he has a low-to-mid 90's fastball, changeup and an infrequently used collection of sliders, cutters and splitters.
Santiago has never faced the Brewers in a major league game, and they didn't see him in the Cactus League this spring either. Since he's pitching on two days' rest, it's unlikely he'll work deep into tonight's game.
The first Miller Park lineup of the year looks a lot like what we'll probably see on Opening Day:
Norichika Aoki RF
Rickie Weeks 2B
Ryan Braun LF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Jonathan Lucroy C
Alex Gonzalez 1B
Carlos Gomez CF
Jean Segura SS
Wily Peralta P
All I know about the bullpen situation right now is that John Axford and Jim Henderson pitched in minor league games yesterday so we may not see them, and Donovan Hand and Alfredo Figaro still appear to be competing for a bullpen spot so there's a good chance we will see them.
It's a nice spring day in Milwaukee but temperatures are expected to drop into the upper 30's after dark, so the Miller Park roof and panels will almost certainly be closed.