Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
So Chris Perez is going to be the next Dodger reliever according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times. It’s a 1 year deal presumably to rebuild his value on the open market next year, he’s only 27 years old, turns 28 July 1st which means a good season could set him up perfectly on the open market next year. Most of the focus in this signing is going to be on how he was dumb enough to mail marijuana to himself in the name of his dog. It was an incredibly dumb act, but I don’t have much of an issue with it as some people do. People are going to look at his stats this past season and immediately scream when you put up a 4.33 ERA with drug issues over the course of a season, however i’m not as down on this signing as most.
We knew that Ned Colletti was going to sign one final reliever, it’s in Ned’s DNA to do something like that. I’m okay with it in this sense. Many fans want to see Jose Dominguez come up and be given a role on this team, but I question that move for a couple reasons. As much as we like to bag on Colletti’s obsession with “veteran guys”, in this scenario it’s probably for the best. Dominguez came up in Late June mainly out of necessity, Guerrier was awful, and League was a trainwreck, but if we’re looking at Dominguez’s major league readiness, I wonder if he is. A reliever with 32.1 total innings above A ball to suddenly be trusted with a huge role on a team with championship aspirations immediately may not be a great idea.
Chris Perez’s issues have mainly come due to the long ball, playing in the AL could not have aided this, but a 1.05 HR/9 career home run rate is pretty bad, and a 1.83 HR/9 in 2013 is atrocious, but perhaps the front office looked at his issues, and thought maybe they could be subdued by playing in a marine layer for most of his games. I’m not saying his issues with the home run aren’t real, because they are, he’s a fly ball pitcher as evidenced by a 43.4 career FB%, but in the past 3 seasons he increased his Groundball per Flyball rate from .56 to 1.02 to finally 1.22. Oh and that strikeout rate of 9.00 K/9 is always nice to have in the bullpen.
Chris Perez on a contender, while being merely a 7th inning guy could very well flourish in a division that for the most part keeps balls in yards. You can bet that 20.0% home run per fly ball which is 10% above his career average isn’t going to continue thus making him a better pitcher. I like the signing, and that 3.41 ERA, if he gives the Dodgers an ERA around or below that number, I am loving a bullpen of Jansen-Wilson-Perez-Withrow-Paco-Howell-League.