• Twins Sign Lefty Reliever Rafael Perez


    Via Twitter, the Star-Tribune's LaVelle Neal announced the signing of left-handed reliever Rafael Perez to a minor league contract today. He had been non-tendered by the Cleveland Indians in November after pitching in just eight games for the team in 2012. He fought a side injury early in the season and later was out for the season due to a shoulder injury.

    However, in his seven seasons (all in Cleveland), he was a very good reliever, most of the time. In all, he worked 329 innings in 338 games. He posted an ERA of 3.64 with a WHIP of 1.33.

    In 2009, he posted a 7.31 ERA in 54 games. However, in his five other big league seasons, he never posted an ERA over 3.54.

    The left-hander's platoon splits are actually quite similar. In his career, lefties have posted a .678 OPS while right-handed batters posted a .694 OPS. He has struckout 21% of right-handed batters faced and about 17% of left-handers.

    Although he is just 30-years-old, his best years were 2006 through 2008 when he averaged more than a strikeout per inning. His K-Rates the past four seasons have been 6.0, 5.3, 4.7 and 4.7, so expectations should be kept minimized.

    What does it mean for the Twins? Glen Perkins and Brian Duensing will be in the Twins bullpen. If the Twins choose to have a third lefty in the bullpen, Perez will compete with Tyler Robertson, who spent the second half of the 2012 season with the Twins, and Minnesotan Caleb Thielbar, who was added to the Twins 40 man roster in November after pitching well at three levels a year ago.

    Specifics of the minor league deal are not yet public.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Sign Lefty Reliever Rafael Perez started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 55 Comments
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Just read it in mlb rumors, not sure if he has an invite to spring training , or how effective he will be , but to me he should be competition to the 3rd lefty relievers spot
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Decent low risk signing. More depth to our bullpen.
    1. fairweather's Avatar
      fairweather -
      I wounder if this is a sign that the Twins intend to have Duensing hold down Diamonds rotation spot should Diamond be unable to start the season on time?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      He does have an invite to spring training and will be reporting on Saturday. According to Rob Antony, he just threw his first bullpen a week ago.
    1. luckylager's Avatar
      luckylager -
      Great if he is healthy again!
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Um, LE3 kind of missed the big point. Rob Anthony says they are looking to give him a chance to start. Strange.

      Rhett Bollinger:
      https://twitter.com/RhettBollinger/s...05725516271616

      His last 180 MLB innings he has seen a 5.8 K/9 out of the pen. That should translate really nicely as a starter.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      I'm on board with this. OTOH, it's yet another signing of a player that another team has given up on via a non-tender due to injury.

      I guess this means the front office thinks they have a medical staff better than these other teams'.

      At some point, pitchers are going to look around themselves in Fort Myers in late February and mutter "what am I doing here with all these guys in arm-slings and leg-casts and neck-braces and eye-patches? They must think I'm a reclamation project too. Ugh. Maybe this full-body cast and hook-hand aren't such good fashion statements after all."
    1. notoriousgod71's Avatar
      notoriousgod71 -
      But, get this, they want to stretch him out to see if he can be a starter.

      Pretty gutsy/stupid to try and do that to a guy that has never started a ML game and only managed 7 innings last year. The one thing he has going for him, however, is that his career splits don't scream out Brian Duensing.

      I always liked him coming out of the Indians pen. Hopefully at the very least he returns to form as a set up guy.
    1. edavis0308's Avatar
      edavis0308 -
      Solid minor league signing. Leave him in relief. Trying him as a starter coming off shoulder surgery doesnt make a whole lot of sense.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      move the Perez discussions to the Perez article's comments, please.
    1. edavis0308's Avatar
      edavis0308 -
      Apologies. How are we supposed to know that there is an article posted though, without visiting the front page? Check the front page more often?
    1. savvyspy's Avatar
      savvyspy -
      Roster filler. Countdown to 100 loses in T-minus 3....2.....1.....
    1. ScottyB's Avatar
      ScottyB -
      According to Zulgad/Mackey Perez's agent requested that they consider him for a starting spot. His splits appear to be balanced righty/lefty wise unlike Duensing.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      Solid pick-up place setter if you wish to offer more time to Robertson and Theilbar. The Twins need some left-handed support, especially if Perkins IS the closer and Diamond starts the season on the DL. You could get by with just Duensing in the bullpen (with closer Perkins) if you had a second starter in the rotation who would consistently go 6-7 innings (Saunders). But the Twins don't and probably won't. Has a team ever started a season with no lefties at all on the pitching staff?
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      move the Perez discussions to the Perez article's comments, please.
      Where is the article?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by drjim View Post
      Where is the article?
      At the top of the front page.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Why are the Twins signing guys who can potentially be good SP or very good RP when they could be signing a 7th AAAA Catcher? God, it's clear Terry Ryan just doesn't care any more.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by notoriousgod71 View Post
      I always liked him coming out of the Indians pen.
      It would figure. His splits according to baseball-reference.com indicate he has had more sustained success against the Twins than against anyone else, holding the Twins' stellar cadre of sluggers to a .547 OPS versus .687 for all opponents combined. He's better than average (pre-injury) but against the Twins he's looked like Nolan Mathewson and Walter Seaver combined.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      move the Perez discussions to the Perez article's comments, please.
      I guess you haven't seen the other thread where PocketPig is trying to debug the inability to see comments on articles appearing on the front page. There may be a reason when some of us don't quite follow protocol.
    1. LoganJones's Avatar
      LoganJones -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rosterman View Post
      Solid pick-up place setter if you wish to offer more time to Robertson and Theilbar. The Twins need some left-handed support, especially if Perkins IS the closer and Diamond starts the season on the DL. You could get by with just Duensing in the bullpen (with closer Perkins) if you had a second starter in the rotation who would consistently go 6-7 innings (Saunders). But the Twins don't and probably won't. Has a team ever started a season with no lefties at all on the pitching staff?
      Kansas City a couple years back. Dick mentioned it repeatedly the whole season. He was utterly fascinated by it.
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