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Peralta resuming mound work during DL stint

MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

CINCINNATI -- As Wily Peralta begins his comeback from a fortuitously-timed right calf injury, Brewers manager Craig Counsell said the club hasn't abandoned the idea of developing the erstwhile Opening Day starter into a viable relief option.

"That's what we're shooting for, for sure," Counsell said. "When he gets to the point of being able to go on rehab, he will pitch out of the bullpen. That's certainly what we're still working for."

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CINCINNATI -- As Wily Peralta begins his comeback from a fortuitously-timed right calf injury, Brewers manager Craig Counsell said the club hasn't abandoned the idea of developing the erstwhile Opening Day starter into a viable relief option.

"That's what we're shooting for, for sure," Counsell said. "When he gets to the point of being able to go on rehab, he will pitch out of the bullpen. That's certainly what we're still working for."

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Peralta, who began his second week on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday, threw off a mound Tuesday afternoon and said he expects to meet with Brewers officials when the team returns home to discuss a plan for a Minor League rehabilitation assignment. Counsell said Peralta would probably be assigned to Triple-A Colorado Springs sometime just before the All-Star break.

Some of Peralta's own friends, he said, questioned whether he was really hurt last week when the Brewers placed Peralta on the DL. The timing was oddly perfect; left-hander Brent Suter had already arrived from Triple-A to help the Brewers' sagging bullpen, and Peralta was coming off the worst of four consecutive poor outings, boosting his ERA to 10.54 in nine relief outings since being bumped from the starting rotation. With no Minor League options, it appeared the Brewers would have to stick with Peralta as he worked on a conversion to the 'pen, or designate him for assignment. The DL move delayed that decision.

But he is legitimately injured, Peralta assured. He felt tightness in his calf during his outing against the Pirates on June 19 that worsened the following day when Brewers relievers took the field for their daily workout. When he couldn't push off during running drills, Peralta said he alerted the team's athletic training staff.

When the Brewers placed Peralta on the DL, it opened a spot for Suter and gave Peralta a chance to take a pause.

"You obviously don't want to get hurt, but you have to take advantage of the opportunity when there are things you have to work on," Peralta said. "I'm trying to get back on track, trying to get my timing right. That's why I've been off. I feel like I throw two good pitches, and then a terrible one. It's timing for me. Mechanics."

The Brewers were once so high on Peralta that they made him their Opening Day starter in 2016. He has a 5.56 ERA in 181 1/3 innings since then -- and that includes a 10-start surge at the end of last season that earned Peralta a spot with the team for 2017.

"I'm doing the best that I can, man," Peralta said. "It's not been easy. Sometimes you have to pass through this to get better. It's something that you have to learn from, take the positive out and eliminate the negative. It's been a rough two years in a row."

Last call

• The other pitcher on the Brewers' DL, right-hander Brandon Woodruff, left the team to finish his rehabilitation from a right hamstring strain at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix, Ariz. Like Peralta, he's expected to begin pitching in games right around the Major League All-Star break, Counsell said.

• The Brewers don't have an opening at first base, but Triple-A Colorado Springs' Garrett Cooper is nevertheless opening eyes. Cooper's 1.026 OPS, 14 home runs and 67 RBIs led him to be named the Pacific Coast League's starting first baseman for the Triple-A All-Star Game.

"He is doing well for himself," Counsell said. "Look, if you put up those numbers in Triple-A, we've got to take notice. There's no question."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Milwaukee Brewers, Wily Peralta