On the Importance of Spring Training

I’ll be the first to tell you that spring training games generally don’t
matter.  It’s a reliever locating, a hitter adjusting his stance, a
starter working on a new pitch.

There are exceptions.  For some
guys, spring training is their only opportunity to make the big league
club.  They have limited time to impress and need to give it their all. 
So even though they’re playing against guys with numbers like 83 and 98, we have to take what they do a little more seriously. 

Wily Peralta, who was expected to go 5 innings today, falls in the latter category. 

What he gave us was a third of an inning of forgettable baseball.


I’ve noted Peralta’s control issues before.  His minor league stats suggest he his control is getting increasingly worse at each level.  So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised Peralta is having trouble against major league hitting.  We have to assume Peralta brought his best stuff, but in a game where the chips were down and Peralta’s job was perhaps on the line, he couldn’t even make two outs.

Michael Hunt of the Journal Sentinel had even less flattering things to say about Peralta’s performance:

All over the place with his control, Peralta was absolutely shelled.
Getting just one Colorado hitter out, the 21-year-old righty gave up
five runs on five hits and two walks. Of the 32 pitches he threw to get
one out, 13 were strikes and most of those were smoked.

Ron Roenicke finally had to come get Peralta after he bounced one to
the plate for ball four to No. 8 hitter. Chris Iannetta. The skipper,
who brought in Tim Dillard, didn’t even let Peralta throw to pitcher for the sacrifice bunt. Yikes.

Peralta may very well be ready for the big time someday, but its not right now.  And with Mark Rogers still on the mend, it’s a very open question who will be the #5 in the rotation behind Chris Narveson.  Kintzler or DiFelice still get my vote, but they’d have to be stretched out immediately.  And with that not appearing likely, my money’s on Tim Dillard, who pitched a decent, though not outstanding, 2 and 2/3 in relief of Peralta.

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