Could the Astros be calling up LHP Cionel Perez?
Just when you think a team will make a certain move, they end up surprising you. When it was announced that the Astros were placing Carlos Correa on the DL, most people assumed they would recall a hitter. Although most people wanted it to be Kyle Tucker, the logical choice was J.D. Davis, who could play third base. If that was the case, Alex Bregman could play shortstop.
Earlier today, I wrote that the Astros could surprise us and bring up a reliever. According to Jake Kaplan, the Astros will be calling up left-handed pitcher Cionel Perez. That is what his sources are telling him. While Perez has been a starter this year with the Corpus Christi Hooks, he will be added to the bullpen for now. The Astros lasted a while with 13 hitters and 12 pitchers, but that could change.
He’s off to a great start.
Perez is off to a great start to the season with a 5-1 record with 2.20 ERA while striking out 71 hitters in 57 1/3 innings. He has a career-high 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. These stats are from Baseball-Reference and shows that he can be a real impact pitcher for the Astros. If Tony Sipp faltered at all, Perez would eventually have been given a chance.
While we were hoping that it would be Tucker to make his debut, Perez will be making his MLB debut. Perez is the sixth top prospect in the Astros farm system per MLB Pipeline. After being signed by the Astros on September 1, 2016, Perez was added to the 40-man roster this offseason. There was some controversy when the Astros voided his contract, but they resigned him, and he is set to make his debut.
This move makes sense with how the Astros like to use starters in the bullpen. We have seen how Brad Peacock, Joe Musgrove, Chris Devenski, and Collin McHugh have adapted to that role. Hopefully, he can offer similar production for however long he is up. Many people are concerned about his durability as a starter long-term, but the 22-year-old has turned some heads this year.
With July approaching, the front office will get a chance to see what they have in Perez. If he performs well, he could be the answer to bullpen needs down the stretch or in the playoffs. Like AJ Reed, this could also be a reward for his season. While we are still waiting for confirmation, this looks like the move.