MIAMI -- Days after earning his first Major League victory during a relief appearance in Cincinnati, Brewers pitching prospect Ariel Pena will make his first big league start when the Brewers finish a three-game series against the Marlins on Wednesday.
Pena essentially will take the spot previously occupied by Matt Garza, who was removed from the rotation over the weekend due to his performance this season and might not pitch again in 2015. However, manager Craig Counsell would not commit to more than Wednesday's outing.
Coming on to debut after a 90-minute rain delay, Pena threw 56 pitches over three innings against the Reds in Game 2 of a doubleheader on Saturday, and he was rewarded by the official scorer with his first Major League win. Wednesday's start will be on three days' rest.
"We're going to try to win the game, so however that works [in terms of pitch count], it works," Counsell said. "Depending on how the next couple of days go, we'll maybe be able to be pretty aggressive that day [in terms of bullpen use]. I don't know yet [whether Pena will make a start after that]. We're trying to be really flexible here. I think that's the best way to do it when you have some options now."
With Pena slotted to start Wednesday, Wily Peralta will start on regular rest Thursday in Pittsburgh. Peralta pitched only two innings in Game 2 on Saturday before the long weather delay forced Counsell to make a change.
Peralta was getting loose on the mound in the middle of the third inning when the storm intensified. A bolt of lightning struck one of the light standards in left field, causing Peralta and other players to run to the dugout for cover.
"I feel like it was right on top of my head," Peralta said. "It was crazy, man. I've never seen anything like that."
Despite his abbreviated, 39-pitch outing, Peralta is going through his usual routine between starts. He threw his bullpen session at Marlins Park on Monday.
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.