Peralta proving his worth in Detroit
It hasn’t been a great season for the Detroit Tigers, who sit in third place with a 39-46 record in the American League Central Division. Despite half the season still to be played, the Tigers find themselves 10.5 games back of division leaders the Chicago White Sox and are slipping further and further away from a wild card spot.
It hasn’t been all bad though, as the front office looks to build a competitive squad capable of competing for the World Series. They have made some shrewd moves to improve the team without breaking the bank in the process. One pickup that went under the radar during the offseason and has been a revelation for the Tigers is starting pitcher Wily Peralta.
Peralta didn’t pitch in Major League Baseball at all last season but was given a look pitching in the Dominican Winter League. Detroit’s Latin American scout Oliver Arias was impressed with what the 32-year-old brought to the mound and convinced the club to give him a minor-league deal. It has worked out wonderfully for the team.
“He’s been a welcome addition,” said Detroit manager AJ Hinch said following Detroit’s 7-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Monday evening, via The Detroit News.
Peralta throws a change-up with a split-finger grip which is what initially caught Arias’s eye. He threw that pitch 26 times on Monday evening, striking out Joey Gallo twice and Adolis Garcia once with it.
“I’ve been throwing that pitch since 2019,” Peralta commented following the victory. “But I was in the bullpen so I didn’t get a chance to throw too many. This off-season I worked on it a lot and I feel really comfortable with it.”
Peralta has now 16.2 consecutive innings without allowing a run as he becomes more and more comfortable pitching in the big leagues. He allowed just three hits over seven innings on Monday night, throwing 91 pitches and not walking a single batter.
“He controlled contact on the ground for the most part,” Hinch said. “He did a good job of missing bats here and there. But that team will hit the ball on the ground if you execute and they will also do damage if you don’t.
“It was key for him to mix in that change-up and he was able to command his secondary pitches late in counts. He did a great job.”
Despite his newfound success, Peralta is not new to MLB, as he was originally signed by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2006. He later moved on to the Kansas City Royals, where he was eventually released on July 24th, 2019, and it would be the last time he played in the big leagues prior to his arrival in Detroit.
He originally started off the 2021 campaign with Detroit’s Triple-A affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens, but after six starts and a 2.75 ERA, he was called up to the big league team on June 15th. He earned his first win in MLB since 2017 on June 30th and hasn’t looked back since.