On Sunday May 26 of this year the Cleveland Indians were five games over .500 and only 1.5 games out of first place. That was also around the time Indians closer Chris Perez went down with a shoulder injury. Since that time the Indians have held their own but the effects are there. They now are two games over .500 and three games behind the Detroit Tigers. After a stint on the disabled list Perez only has to get through his list of rehab assignments before heading back to the big leagues to his former closer position.
The Tribe have held things together pretty well considering the standard effect losing a closer can have on a baseball team. They are still in second place and except for an eight game losing streak right in the mid-section of June, they have been on the winning side more than not. Still, things are bound to improve when a healthy Perez is solidly in his familiar spot of closer.
There will be some cobwebs to work out without a doubt. His first rehab assignment didn’t go very well but performance isn’t the issue when those start. There was no pain and that is the main focus at that point. Now Perez will continue to work his way back to I’m sure what he and the Indians hopes is his former all-star form. Because of this DL stay he won’t break any saves records for the Indians but his return could be a huge boost for the bullpen at a really important time for them and the team.