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Maryvale Musings: Wily or won't he start Opening Day?

Counsell hasn't named an Opening Day starter, but the calendar points to Peralta. Will he be ready to take the ball on April 4th?

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Across the league, pitchers who have either already been announced as their teams' Opening Day starters or are heavily assumed to be such -- Chris Sale, Zack Greinke, Madison Bumgarner, Sonny Gray -- started today as Spring Training cruises along and the season approaches. Brewers manager Craig Counsell has not revealed much of anything regarding who will start for the Brewers on April 4th, but Wily Peralta is Milwaukee's most experienced starting pitcher not named Matt Garza.

Peralta said that he's not concerned about the honor. "I don't know, I don't even think about that," Peralta said. "If that is the case, if I did get that opportunity I'd be happy with it, but if not I'm going to be happy too."

If Peralta is going to be Milwaukee's Opening Day starter, he needs to get things back in track on the mound, and quickly. Peralta was roughed up again on Saturday, surrendering 10 runs on 11 hits over just 2.2 innings. Peralta's spring ERA now sits at 11.70. While a certain amount of poor performance in spring can be safely ignored, a start as bad as Saturday's from Peralta is certainly cause for concern with just two weeks remaining until the season begins in earnest.

"Well it wasn't a good day today, no question about that," Counsell said. "He's got two more starts to build some confidence going into the season.

"I think he threw the ball well last time out. So hopefully this is just a blip on the radar here."

Peralta said that in his final two spring starts, he plans to focus more on results than on working on individual pitches. "I think my next outing I'm going to be out there and not try to work much on things, just try to go pitch and great ready for the season," Peralta said. "I need to just go out there and execute and get ready for the season."

While Peralta acknowledged his struggles so far this spring, he said he thinks he'll be ready for the regular season. "I don't worry about it now, I feel good. I think when the season starts, I'm going to be fine.

"I'm leaving all my runs in Spring Training. When the season comes, I'll be better."

Cactus League Updates

  • Peralta hit Angels OF Daniel Nava in the head with a pitch in the 2nd inning. Nava walked slowly to first with help before being pulled from the game, and while he did not show signs of a concussion, it's always a scary moment to see someone go down like that. "The fastball was supposed to go in, it slipped right out of my hand," Peralta said. "I just feel bad for him, I don't want to hit anybody. I know he's trying to battle for a spot, I don't want to hit him in the head. I just hope that he feels fine."

  • 2B Scooter Gennett played in his second game of the spring and also saw his first action in the field Saturday. He went 1-for-4 and also made a nice stop to his left at second base. "Honestly it feels great, there's no pain or stiffness or anything like that," Gennett said. He said he's about ready to start playing every day. "Absolutely, that sounds great to me. You know, the easing-in process is almost over.

  • The right handed half of the back of the Brewers bullpen, RHP Jeremy Jeffress, saw his first Cactus League action Saturday, throwing a clean inning with two strikeouts. "[I was] excited, amped. Felt good enough, I was excited to get in there," Jeffress said. Counsell was impressed with the 28-year-old's first outing of the spring. "I thought he threw good, I thought he threw some really good off-speed pitches," Counsell said. "You know, I think he had a little extra going for his first time so I think he'll be even better the next time out."