Peralta, Nieuwenhuis among five Brewers minor leaguers to elect free agency

Five players who appeared with the Milwaukee Brewers this season but finished the year in the minor leagues have elected to become free agents.

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Of the five, four are pitchers: Michael Blazek, David Goforth, Wily Peralta and Rob Scahil. Outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis is the fifth.

Just because a player files for free agency doesn't mean they can't re-sign with the Brewers, as was the case with Hernan Perez two years ago.

Among the five, Peralta had the biggest fall. He was named Milwaukee's opening-day starter in 2016, but would finish the year with a 4.86 ERA and 1.527 WHIP in 23 starts. He struggled even more this year, compiling a bloated 7.85 ERA in 19 appearances (eight starts) before being sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he pitched out of the bullpen.

Nieuwenhuis played in 125 games last year, but with a crowded outfield in 2017, was relegated most of the season to Triple-A, where he batted .244 in 84 games. He did appear in 16 games with Milwaukee, batting just .115 with 15 strikeouts in 26 at-bats.

While he did well in Colorado Springs (1.40 ERA, 1.091 WHIP), the right-handed Scahill couldn't grab a foothold in the Brewers' bullpen, posting a 4.43 ERA and 1.388 WHIP with just 4.0 K/9 in 18 games and 22 1/3 innings.

Blazek never could repeat his success in 2015 with the Brewers, when he had a 2.43 ERA and 1.042 WHIP in 55 2/3 innings. He allowed nine runs (eight earned) in 8 2/3 innings with Milwaukee in 2017.

Goforth, a seventh-round draft pick by Milwaukee in 2011, pitched just one scoreless inning for the Brewers this season.