The Pirates have agreed to a minor league contract with veteran right-hander Wily Peralta, reports Robert Murray of FanSided. He’ll be in big league camp as a non-roster invitee with the Bucs this spring.
Peralta, 34, enjoyed a nice two-year run with the Tigers in 2021-22 — his most recent experience at the major league level. In that time, he pitched 132 innings, split between the rotation and bullpen, and worked to a 2.93 ERA but more concerning rate stats. During his time as a Tiger, Peralta posted a well below-average 15.8% strikeout rate while walking 10.9% of his opponents. He kept the ball on the ground at a strong 49.2% clip, but his shaky K/BB profile limited him to a minor league deal with the Nationals in free agency last winter.
Things didn’t go well for Peralta in the Nats organization. The longtime Brewers righty opened the season with Washington’s Triple-A affiliate in Rochester and wound up starting 24 games for the Red Wings. His command troubles persisted (12% walk rate, 21.7% strikeout rate), and Peralta was tagged for a grisly 6.31 ERA in 102 2/3 innings.
Peralta broke into the big leagues with the Brewers back in 2012 and was a fixture in the Milwaukee rotation from 2013-16. Through his first 113 games (112 starts), the righty posted a 4.18 ERA in 647 1/3 frames with below-average strikeout rates but solid command and a strong 52% ground-ball rate. That nice start to his career was quite some time ago, however, and Peralta has had success in the 2018, 2021 and 2022 seasons, he’s logged a 4.53 ERA with an 11.7% walk rate in his past 264 MLB frames. As recently as 2022, he was still sitting at 95.5 mph with both his four-seamer and sinker — but that was in a relief role. Peralta averaged 95.8 mph as a starter earlier in his career but sat 94.1 mph out of the Tigers’ rotation in 2022.
The Pirates won’t be banking on much from Peralta, but he’ll head to camp in hopes of winning a roster spot — be it at the back of the Pittsburgh rotation or perhaps as a long reliever in the bullpen. The Pirates currently have Mitch Keller, Martin Perez and Marco Gonzales locked into rotation spots, but the final two spots are mostly up for grabs after righty Johan Oviedo underwent Tommy John surgery earlier in the offseason. Luis Ortiz, Bailey Falter, Quinn Priester and Roansy Contreras are among the in-house options, though further additions shouldn’t be ruled out. Top prospect and 2023 No. 1 overall draft pick Paul Skenes figures to make his MLB debut sometime next summer as well.