Astros should call Indians about Oliver Perez

Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

As the record we play continues to break, the Houston Astros are dealing with some of the worst injuries with their bullpen arms this season. The experience is thinning, while Pedro Baez hits the 60-day injured list and others not showing high leverage ability, should the front office explore options?

The Cleveland Indians are in somewhat a rebuilding stage, and they have left-hander Oliver Perez waiting for an assignment. The veteran relief pitcher was designated for assignment on Wednesday to make room for Nick Wittgren, although having an impressive start to the season.

With the bullpen looking a little shaky, could the Astros add a left-handed arm?

Blake Taylor and Brooks Raley are the two left-handers in the bullpen, and although Taylor is currently on the IL with an ankle injury, we don’t have a timetable on his return. Raley has seen his own early struggles but is starting to come around in a seventh or eighth inning role.

The need for left-handed specialists is dying in the game with the three batter rule, but with an injured list growing, the Astros could spark some interest in Oliver Perez. The left-hander appeared in five games with Cleveland with a 0.00 ERA. The veteran has gone 3.2 innings, while only surrending five hits and one walk to his four strikeouts.

It is unclear why Perez was DFA’d with these numbers supporting his cause, but he could’ve just been the odd man out. At 39-years-old, the silver fox might not fit the scheme that the young Indians are displaying in Cleveland.

The three pitch arsenal of a sinker, slider and 4-seam combo has been evenly spread through his outings. His advanced metrics don’t show a lot thus far through an early season other than the fact he isn’t being pelted by opposing hitters.

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In 2020, Perez went 18 total inning of work with a 2.00 ERA and 14 strikeouts, as his high walk rate has been an issue in the past, it is starting to disappear late in his career. Age could be playing a factor in the left-hander’s future in the game, but with a good resume in his last 26 outings, teams will most likely give up a minimal return instead of claiming Perez off waivers.

The left-hander is one of the more forgotten Astros, as he was traded to Houston in 2015 for Junior Garcia during a postseason push. Perez didn’t make a huge impact, while being shelled in the regular season and postseason. With money being a reoccurring topic, Perez is making only $1.25 million this year and would cost possibly a player to be named later or cash considerations. The only issue would be finding him a home on the 40-man roster, if come to it.

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