Peralta unveiling wicked addition to arsenal

June 9th, 2021

Freddy Peralta’s near no-hitter against the D-backs in his last start Friday was one of the best examples yet that he’s not solely "Fastball Freddy" anymore.

Besides throwing fewer than 50 percent fastballs for only the second time in his 34 career starts -- with both occurrences having come this season -- Peralta threw his second-highest proportion of changeups at 15 of his career-high 109 pitches, or 13.8 percent. It proved a good mix. Peralta came within five outs of pitching the second no-hitter in Brewers history before Nick Ahmed reached for a slider below the strike zone and singled to left field.

It was further evidence that the 25-year-old has come a long way from his May 13, 2018, Major League debut, when Statcast registered 91.8 percent of Peralta’s pitches as fastballs.

“Sometimes you take a small piece from your last game and try to take it to the next one,” said Peralta, who is scheduled to be back on the mound Thursday in the Brewers’ series finale at Cincinnati. “For example, my last game against the Diamondbacks, I was so focused on making sure that my [follow-through on the] changeup went all the way. So now in the bullpen [during his session between starts], that's what I was trying to do, too.

“Especially for [Thursday], I know that that is a big pitch for me right now. Let's see if I'm going to use it or not. It all depends on the situation.”

Against a Reds lineup with two of the top hitters in the National League this season, Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos, the changeup will presumably be a critical element of Peralta’s arsenal.

“I feel really good, really comfortable [with that pitch]," Peralta said. “I feel that I can throw in every count.”

Peralta said most of the congratulatory texts after his brush with history against Arizona were from family, with whom he is particularly close. And yes, he spent recent days contemplating how close he came.

“My wish is to throw the no-hitter one day,” he said.

Up from Triple-A, Peterson praises Ashby

The Brewers’ decision to shift No. 7 prospect Aaron Ashby from the starting rotation to the bullpen at Triple-A Nashville in preparation for an eventual call-up to the big leagues sounds like a good plan to veteran utility man Jace Peterson, who just joined the Brewers from the Sounds this week.

“I was actually just talking about him. He was really, really good when I was there,” Peterson told reporters Wednesday afternoon of Ashby. “The starts that he made when I was there, playing behind him, I mean, he was throwing pitches at 97 mph that were moving like they were changeups. His two-seam was really taking off and he was really throwing the ball where he wanted to, commanding the strike zone.

“He looked extremely good. So I think that he's definitely going to be a weapon for the Brewers to be able to have, and I know they'll be happy whenever he gets up here eventually to help this team. I was very impressed with not only just the way he went about it [but] how he attacked the zone. He's a pro.”

Last call

• Peterson has had some issues since Spring Training with nerve pain in his left thumb, and said he’s been managing the problem since then thanks to a cryotherapy procedure he had just prior to Opening Day. His numbers don’t jump off the stat sheet, but he’s been a nice utility player for manager Craig Counsell in his stints with the Brewers in the past two seasons.

Of the ups and downs, Peterson said, “As long as I have my family and they're able to be with me, I'm ready to play, whether it's in the big leagues or in Triple-A. I don't really let it get me down.”

• Outfielders Korry Howell at High-A Wisconsin and Joe Gray Jr. at Low-A Carolina shared the honor of Brewers Minor League Player of the Month for May. Both have been mashing this season; Howell slashed .326/.422/.616 in May with six home runs among his 12 extra-base hits in 23 games during the month, and Gray hit seven homers among his 13 extra-base hits in 23 games in May, while slashing .273/.360/.580.

• In an effort to fill American Family Field on June 25 when the stadium returns to 100 percent capacity, the Brewers added another perk to what they are calling “Re-Opening Day”: $1 hot dogs. More info on festivities is available at