The injury bug has claimed another Brewers. Earlier today, the Brewers announced that Wily Peralta will be shut down for the rest of the season due to left oblique tightness. It's unclear how long Peralta has been dealing with this, but it may help explain some of his struggles this season if he has been dealing with it for a while. He posted a 4.72 ERA and 4.84 FIP this season, along with a decreased strikeout rate at 4.97 K/9 and an increased walk rate at 3.06 BB/9. With reinforcements up from Biloxi now, the Brewers had enough pitchers available that they could make this move rather than have Peralta pitch through it.
With Peralta out for the season, all five of the Opening Day starters are officially out of the Brewers rotation now. The first to go was Mike Fiers, who was traded to Houston on July 30 (and has thrown a no-hitter for the Astros in his time there). Kyle Lohse was the second to go, being sent to the bullpen after struggling all season. His last start was on August 2, and he has made 13 appearances in the bullpen since then. Matt Garza was then removed from the rotation a month later after a bad start on September 5, but chose to sit out for the rest of the season rather than pitch in the bullpen.
That left just Wily Peralta and Jimmy Nelson in the rotation, and the last week has not been kind to them. Jimmy Nelson was hit by a batted ball last Thursday in a game against the Cardinals, and while he is feeling great now, the Brewers chose to shut him down because of the potential risk of another ball hitting him in the same area. Meanwhile, Peralta's last start came on Monday, where he allowed six runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. Now, his season is over as well.
It will be interesting to see how this season affects Peralta's contract for next year. Peralta will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason, and this season will probably hurt his chances for a bigger contract. He should still get a nice payday next year, but it could have been better with more success in 2015.
With 11 games left in the season, here is how the rotation will be set up for the last week and a half:
Zach Davies (4 Major League starts, 21 IP)
Taylor Jungmann (19 starts, 111.1 IP)
Ariel Pena (3 starts, 18 IP)
Tyler Wagner (1 start, 3.2 IP)
Tyler Cravy (6 starts, 37.2 IP)
Jorge Lopez (0 starts, 0 IP)
If you're counting, that's a total of 33 Major League starts and 191.2 IP Major League innings between those six starters, over half of which comes from Taylor Jungmann. None of these players made an MLB appearance before this year. These guys are going to get thrown to the fire in these last 11 games. If the rotation holds, each will get two starts, except for Lopez, who will get one.
If the Brewers are trying to tank over these last several games, throwing the rookies out there is one way to do it. They are currently tied with the Rockies for the third worst record in the majors, with the Braves 2.5 games ahead and the Phillies 6 games ahead in the race for the top pick. It could be tough to catch up to the Phillies, but a rotation like this may give them a strong chance to do it.