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Brewers top prospect Nelson to replace Peralta

Brewers top prospect Nelson to replace Peralta

Brewers top prospect Nelson to replace Peralta

ATLANTA -- Rather than rush him back from a blister on his pitching hand, the Brewers decided that right-hander Wily Peralta has done enough work for his first full season in the Major Leagues.

Peralta, whose last start was cut short by a blister on his right index finger, will not make his final scheduled start on Saturday against the Mets, manager Ron Roenicke said Tuesday. Top prospect Jimmy Nelson -- another big-framed, hard-throwing right-hander -- will start instead, unless he's needed in emergency relief before that day.

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"It's not just the blister," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Peralta. "He's in a really good spot now with the workload that he's had this year [183 1/3 innings], and we think where he is with his innings and now this coming up, it's a good time for him to go ahead and -- I don't want to say shut it down, because I don't want him shutting it down -- but it's a good time to put somebody else in there."

That somebody else is Nelson, who would make his first Major League start and his first start, period, since Aug. 31 for Triple-A Nashville. He has made three relief appearances for the Brewers in September, and Milwaukee pitching coach Rick Kranitz declined to specify a pitch count.

"I just think we want to see how he approaches the game, and it will give him the opportunity to say he has the experience of starting a big league game going into the offseason," Kranitz said. "I liked him from the moment he walked in. Size alone, aggressiveness, it really jumps out at you. I'm anxious to see how he does. He fits the bill of a big league starter -- size, stuff and aggressiveness."

Said Nelson: "I don't care what situation I pitch in, I just want to get in there. I just want to pitch. It's been interesting to see things from the bullpen side. I kind of have a new respect for all those guys and what they do every day."

Peralta, meanwhile, is finished after going 11-15 with a 4.37 ERA in 183 1/3 innings spanning 32 starts. As of Tuesday, he ranked among the National League's leaders in walks (seventh with 73), wild pitches (tied for sixth with 12) and runs allowed (second with 107).

But he also made late-season strides, going 7-7 with a 3.05 ERA in his final 17 starts.

"We knew it was going to be an up-and-down thing," Roenicke said. "With him, I think the last month, month and a half, I think we've seen a pretty consistent pitcher. I know he's had a couple games where he's been off, but I think he's kept us in almost every game, and that's the important thing. ... He's going to get better with his pitch selection, he's going to get better with being able to throw sliders for strikes, changeups for strikes. He's still a thrower and still learning it, but because he has electric stuff, he can do it."

Peralta is one of three starters firmly in the Brewers' plans for 2014, along with veterans Kyle Lohse and Yovani Gallardo.

"I think he really matured throughout the year, from a guy that when he got in trouble, he gave up runs," Kranitz said. "There were a lot of multiple-run innings from [innings] 3-4-5. That's maturing. My whole thing with him is being in control of himself, which will then allow him to control any situation.

"He started to do that. He started making pitches. He started saving his runs and saving the innings that hurt him. He managed the lineup better by paying more attention."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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