May 16, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia (left) talks to pitcher Luis Perez (47) during their game against the New York Yankees at the Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays beat the Yankees 8-1. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Braves Sign Lefty Reliever Luis Perez


 

February 14, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Luis Perez (47) works out during spring training at Bobby Mattick Training Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A week ago, word came that an unknown left-handed pitcher was being worked out with Frank Wren (et al) watching.  After a considerable delay, Dave O’Brien of the AJC reported that he was “all over the place”.  He even seemed to hesitate in naming the ‘mystery lefty’ while dismissing chances that he would be signed.

Guess again…

 

 

But wait, there’s more…

 


About Perez

29-year-old Luis Perez has been in the Blue Jays’ organization since 2007, hitting the majors in 2011 (65 innings, including 4 starts), 2012 (42 innings/all relief), and 5 abbreviated innings in 2013.  In July 2012, his season was cut short by – deep breath - Tommy John reconstructive ligament-replacement surgery!  After additional minor (?) surgery to clear scar tissue, he was expected to be ready for Spring Training.  He wasn’t.  Toronto had to make a choice since Perez was out of options: thus, he was released.

During his last healthy season – 2012 – Perez posted a 3.43 ERA (in the American League, so that’s okay), striking out 8.4 batters per 9 innings and walking 3.4.    He seems like a LOOGY (Left-handed One Out Guy), though he wasn’t used that way (usually 1-2 innings per outing).  In fact, the Blue Jays had him on pace for something around 65 appearances and ~80 innings at the time of his injury – they were using him a lot.

 

About the Braves’ Bullpen

Last week we were told that the internal options available for bullpen bolstering were better than the available eternal ones.  Apparently Frank lied to us again. But here’s what’s going on…

Right now, the bullpen consists of:

Both Thomas and Schlosser did fine in their respective major league debuts today, Thomas allowing one harmless hit between them.  It is Thomas (the lefty) whose days are probably numbered by this particular move, though Schlosser will undoubtedly be moved to Gwinnett once Mike Minor and/or Gavin Floyd return.

I was expecting a signing of some ilk: if nothing else, the bullpen needs some depth.  I am still personally concerned about the health of Varvaro, and Spring Training proved that there was simply no one else ready to step up and fill the gaps left from the injuries that continue to pile on.  In Perez, Fredi Gonzalez will have an additional option available for a (hopefully) reliable left-handed arm that can handle batters on both sides of the plate.  He’s not spectacular, but he’s available… and hopefully healthy enough.

Maybe we’ll see by early May.

 

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