Injuries have prevented Colorado starter Juan Nicasio from firmly establishing himself in the Rockies' rotation.
The right-hander begins what he hopes will be a healthy 2013 season on Wednesday night when the Rockies shoot for a series victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in the finale of a three-game series.
Nicasio has posted a 6-7 record over 24 career starts that have spanned the past two seasons. He was a decent 4-4 with a 4.14 earned run average through 13 starts as a rookie in 2011, but did not pitch for the rest of the season after taking a line drive off his head in a game versus Washington on Aug. 5.
He went 2-3 with a 5.28 ERA in 11 starts last season, but was 0-3 over his final six outings and did not make a major league start after exiting a June 2 outing early due to a strained left knee. The 26-year-old is winless since April 30.
Nicasio will face the Brewers for the second time in his career, having beat them on July 15, 2011 with seven scoreless innings. He scattered four hits and did not walk a batter while striking out four.
Taking the hill for the Brewers in this rubber match will be highly-regarded prospect Wily Peralta.
The 23-year-old righty made his major league debut with an inning of relief at home versus these same Rockies on April 22 of last year and gave up a run on three hits. He then returned to the minors and ended up just 7-11 with a 4.66 ERA in 28 Triple-A starts before making five major league starts in September. He was 2-1 in that span with a 2.25 ERA.
Milwaukee has high hopes for Peralta, but he did post a 5.40 ERA in Spring Training this season, a less-than-encouraging sign after his minor league struggles a season ago.
Peralta will try to keep Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez in the ballpark on Wednesday evening, something Milwaukee has been unable to do so far in this series. The duo both homered for a second straight game on Tuesday in an 8-4 win, giving Walt Weiss his first victory as manager of the Rockies.
Tulowitzki and Gonzalez had two RBI apiece for Colorado, which racked up 14 hits. Gonzalez also scored twice.
Jorge De La Rosa, who made just three starts late last season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery in 2011, surrendered four runs on five hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings, while Edgmer Escalona picked up the win in relief and Rafael Betancourt logged the save.
"I felt good, I was surprised they took me out because I only had 70-some pitches," De La Rosa said. "It's special to come back here because this is where I started."
Ryan Braun cracked a two-run homer for the Brewers, who won the opener of this set 5-4 in 10 innings after John Axford blew a two-run lead in the ninth. Milwaukee recorded an MLB-high 29 blown saves a year ago.
Milwaukee were just 1-5 last season against the Rockies.