Going into the season, Chris Perez was one of the most questionable closers in baseball (Jim Johnson is in the conversation). Yesterday helped answer that question, but not in a good way for Perez.
With a 3 run lead heading into the 9th, Cleveland handed the ball to Perez. Perez proceeded to give up three runs and get pulled before he could finish the inning.
The problem with Perez is that he is hittable. He went from a guy who could get about a K an inning to a guy who is close to half that. Yes, Cleveland’s closer is more of a ‘contact pitcher’. That’s just plain scary.
So if Perez is not the answer, who is? The likely answer is Vinnie Pestano. Pestano also pitched yesterday and gave up 0 runs and had 1 K in 1.1 innings. Pestano has a much better ERA then Perez (2011: 2.32 vs 3.32) and strikes out more then a batter an inning – 84 Ks in 62 innings.
Maybe Perez will turn it around and be a good closer. Or, maybe he will continue to be shaky and lose the position. My guess is the latter. Cleveland has a pretty good team, so their closer should have fantasy value. Their closer would have fantasy value if it was Pestano.
If Perez is your closer, you may want to consider a handcuff of Pestano. It seems like a question of when and not if. The rest of us should pay attention to the situation as getting Pestano off the waiver wire as the Cleveland closer could be a solid pickup.