Peralta's next step unclear after latest rehab start

Right-hander strong in Double-A, but may need another outing before return

Peralta's next step unclear after latest rehab start

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers officials must decide whether Wily Peralta's next pitch is in the Major Leagues or the Minors after the right hander worked five innings for Double-A Biloxi on Tuesday in his third rehabilitation start.

Manager Craig Counsell couldn't yet commit to a next step for Peralta, who has been on the disabled list since the final week of May with a strained left oblique.

"It's getting there," Counsell said. "We're going to have to have those conversations. But we haven't as of yet."

Peralta threw 74 pitches and allowed one run on three hits, with a walk and five strikeouts. The Brewers could bring him back to start during the team's upcoming road trip to Arizona and San Francisco, or leave him in the Minors for one more outing, buying time to figure out how to fit him into a crowded starting rotation.

Opening a spot for Peralta could be complicated. Rookie right-hander Taylor Jungmann is 5-1 with a 2.04 ERA since being recalled from Triple-A, and it is difficult to see the Brewers sending him back down. Likewise, Mike Fiers has a 2.25 ERA in July, and Jimmy Nelson has a 3.32 ERA for the month. Both are earning salaries near the minimum and are considered part of the Brewers' future.

That leaves veterans Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse. Garza returned from the disabled list to start against the Indians on Tuesday and pitched six scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 5.23. He's signed for two more seasons, and would be difficult to move. Lohse, a free agent at season's end, is 5-10 with a 6.17 ERA entering his Wednesday start against the Indians.

If the Brewers give Peralta one more Minor League start to build up his pitch count, it would bide some time.

"That's what we have to figure out," Counsell said.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.