2013 Toronto Blue Jays Reviews: Juan Perez
Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Juan Perez delivers against the Boston Red Sox during the fourth inning at Fenway Park. Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Name: Juan Perez
Position: Left-handed Relief Pitcher
*162 Game Avg. is his career average based on a full 162-game season.
May 29, 2013 – MLB Toronto Blue Jays purchased contract from Triple-A Buffalo Bisons
August 10, 2013 – Placed on 60-day disabled list with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow
Juan Perez, 35, never really broke through in the big leagues after the Boston Red Sox signed him as an undrafted free agent in 1998. Going into the season he had made only 42 appearances at the MLB level so it was expected he would again be a quad-A reliever for the Buffalo Bisons this year with the possibly of being an emergency arm out of the bullpen for the Blue Jays if needed.
Perez started the season off in Buffalo and was spectacular in 17 appearances, striking out 25 batter in 21.2 innings and pitching to a 0.86 ERA. He was called up along with Neil Wagner and Todd Redmond to provide a few extra arms out of the pen for a rotation that was getting hammered. Especially if you look at the expectations for Perez, he was terrific for the Blue Jays in 2013. He pitched 31.2 innings in 19 games and was solid with a 3.71 FIP and had a respectable 3.69 ERA despite stranding only 63.2% of base runners. His strikeout rate was an impressive 25.2% but his 11.5% walk rate was maybe a bit too high. Overall Perez was a great for the Blue Jays and his splits against RHB (.200/.309/.300) and LHB (.200/.280/.333) led to his success as a versatile option out of the pen.
Perez’s season was unfortunately cut short when he went down with a season-ending elbow injury.
The last I heard Perez decided to pass on having Tommy John surgery in favour of rehabbing his torn UCL. According to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi it’s not a complete tear so he’s chosen to rest his elbow and would see how it would respond in approximately 8 weeks. That estimated timeline just passed and from my knowledge there’s still no update on Perez. My hope is that the rest helps and he can recover but if he does need TJS that would put him out for the duration of the 2014 MLB season. And even if he doesn’t end up requiring surgery it’s tough to predict what type of success he could have for the Blue Jays next year. But if he pitches at all in the big leagues during 2014 it should be considered a success for Juan Perez.