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Crew options Peralta with Anderson off DL

No. 9 prospect impressed over first MLB stint; Counsell talks Rays' reliever-as-starter strategy
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MILWAUKEE -- Twenty-one-year-old Brewers pitching prospect Freddy Peralta returned to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Monday after the team activated Opening Day starter Chase Anderson from the 10-day disabled list to work against the D-backs.

Peralta's six walks in a no-decision against the Twins on Saturday showed he still has work to do. A 13-strikeout gem against the Rockies six days earlier showed he has the stuff to get big league hitters out.

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MILWAUKEE -- Twenty-one-year-old Brewers pitching prospect Freddy Peralta returned to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Monday after the team activated Opening Day starter Chase Anderson from the 10-day disabled list to work against the D-backs.

Peralta's six walks in a no-decision against the Twins on Saturday showed he still has work to do. A 13-strikeout gem against the Rockies six days earlier showed he has the stuff to get big league hitters out.

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"Going back down, he'll have all the confidence in the world knowing you can pitch at this level," said Brandon Woodruff, a teammate in both the Majors and Minors this season who experienced his own big league debut last year. "His first one was spectacular, and then you're going to have your lumps here. He'll be just fine. He's a good kid."

Peralta's demotion was not a surprise, since Anderson was ready to return from a DL stint (illness), and another member of the Opening Day rotation, Zach Davies, is due back later this week from a shoulder injury.

Video: MIL@COL: Peralta strikes out 13 over 5 2/3 in debut

Davies said he expects to start Thursday against the Mets, though the Brewers were not ready to make anything official until Davies, who made a Minor League rehab start on Saturday for Class A Wisconsin, cleared his between-starts bullpen session.

"Look, we're at a stage that when the guys come here, they're expected to help us win. That's what Freddy did," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "But you get all the other stuff out of the way, the butterflies, the nerves, the stuff you can't replicate anywhere else. He's comfortable with the guys, knows what to expect on his start day, has some feel of the lay of the land.

"But the big thing is he came here and helped us win two games. That's the main thing."

Peralta's 18 strikeouts in his first two Major League starts set a Brewers record. Thirteen of them came in 5 2/3 scoreless innings of his Mother's Day debut in Denver, when Peralta carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning with his family in the stands at Coors Field, watching him pitch professionally for the first time.

Video: Peralta joins MLB Tonight to discuss his MLB debut

The follow-up was not as sharp, as Peralta, whom MLB Pipeline ranks as Milwaukee's No. 9 prospect, walked the Twins' leadoff man in four of the five innings he took the mound. Peralta was charged with four earned runs on three hits with five strikeouts in four-plus innings.

"First game, for sure, should give him confidence. Second game, he needs to figure out what he did wrong," said catcher Manny Pina, who said the key was a lack of fastball command in blustery conditions at Target Field. "He'll be back here, for sure."

Pondering pitching
Counsell and the Brewers watched with some interest as the Rays tabbed veteran reliever Sergio Romo as their starting pitcher for back-to-back games against the Angels over the weekend.

Former Brewers general manager Doug Melvin floated a similar idea for years: Start one of your best relievers and pitch him an inning or two or three, then turn to an innings-eating "starter." The idea is to maximize your chances of grabbing a lead and taking control of how the manager deploys his pitching the rest of the game.

Cozart not a fan of Rays' reliever strategy

Video: Counsell on Romo making two consecutive starts

"I understand why they did it in this situation with the Angels' lineup," said Counsell. "They've been [creative] all year, too, and their thought process with it. I think it's a different way of saying, 'How can we get 27 outs?' That's the question they're asking, and they're trying to find the best way to get 27 outs. I appreciate that they're trying to answer the question in a different way, and they're trying to find a bit of an edge.

"Doug's talked about it for a long time. It presents different challenges in [the National League, where pitchers hit]. … It's a different question in our league I think, and there are still answers for it. We've talked about, but it's a more complicated question."

The Brewers did start short-stint relief pitchers for some games last August and September after Jimmy Nelson went down with a shoulder injury, but not on consecutive days.

Suter to start
Counsell tabbed Brent Suter to start what had been an open date on the schedule Wednesday against the D-backs and said Woodruff would be available out of the bullpen for the time being.

Woodruff, incidentally, turned heads in the clubhouse on Monday afternoon after he shaved off the long, red beard he'd been growing since 2016. He said he simply felt like a change.

"Everybody was freaking out, coming in here," Woodruff said with a laugh.

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

Milwaukee Brewers, Chase Anderson, Freddy Peralta