The Cleveland Indians possess no timetable for injured reliever Rafael Perez's return, as MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reported Thursday, June 28. Back in April a strained left latissimus muscle forced the left-handed pitcher to the DL.
Initially losing Rafael Perez seemed like no big deal as reliever Nick Hagadone came up from class AAA and filled Perez's role rather well. Throughout his first 17 games in Cleveland Hagadone pitched impressively, maintaining a 2.04 ERA.
However, between June 3 and June 26 the young reliever pitched in eight games garnering an 18.00 ERA during the timeframe. Talk about a statistical contradiction!
Fellow southpaw reliever Tony Sipp compounds the problem with his own struggles. Last season Sipp, along with Rafael Perez, helped the Indians bullpen live up to their "Bullpen Mafia" moniker by dominating. In fact last season Sipp ranked within the top 10 amongst American League relievers in appearances (seventh, 69) and holds (sixth, 24).
Yet in 29 2012 appearances so far Sipp finds himself with a 0-2 record and 6.66 ERA. By comparison the southpaw boasted a 6-3 record and 3.03 ERA at 2011 season's end.
At this point you may safely infer Cleveland misses Rafael Perez. Personally, watching the bulk of the Indians bullpen scuffle continuously triggered me to think, "I can't wait until the Tribe gets Perez back! I wonder how he is progressing."
Yeah, so as you might imagine Jordan Bastian's Rafael Perez update bums me out. One sentence in particular stood out to me. "All Cleveland has conveyed is some optimism that the lefty will pitch again for the team this season."
Well actually one word appears the issue, the word "some." "Optimism" radiates a much more positive aura without "some" in front. To rephrase, I fear for anyone holding his breath while waiting on Rafael Perez's return.
Ultimately, I sense bullpen improvement in regards to lefty specialists must come within. At the very least I take comfort in knowing Nick Hagadone and Tony Sipp aren't really as bad as their recent numbers might indicate. Nope, sooner or later one has to come around and return to proper form.
Zachary Fenell fell in love with the Cleveland Indians during the 1995 season when the Tribe powered their way to the organization's first World Series appearance since 1954. While the Indians lost some allure since the 1990s you will still find Zachary watching the games on TV, listening to them on the radio, or best yet taking in a game from the stands at Progressive Field.
More from This Contributor:
- Sports & Recreation
- Cleveland Indians
- Rafael Perez
- Tony Sipp
- Nick Hagadone