Appreciating Toronto Blue Jays’ Juan Perez
So just who is Juan Perez?
Well, there’s a good chance that most fans of the game didn’t know who the southpaw was, and I certainly count myself in that group. In fact, it’s probably not much of a stretch to say that even the most ardent followers of the Toronto Blue Jays didn’t really have a good idea of who he was either prior to just a few weeks ago.
After all, this was a 34-year-old career minor league journeyman with all of 27.2 innings of work in the bigs prior to this season. He’s what’s commonly referred to as ‘minor league depth’, a warm body to go out on the mound because somebody has to.
If there was such a thing as limbo in professional baseball — he was knee-deep in it.
That, however, isn’t what who Blue Jays nation has come to know since May 29, when he was called up to the bigs as a long reliever to bolster a pitching staff that was running out of arms once again. In the month between then and now, the fans have only come to know him as one thing: dynamite, shutdown strikeout artist.
Already a 0.6 fWAR player through just 15 innings of work spread across eight outings, you might even say that Perez has already performed beyond the Blue Jays’ wildest expectations.
Including Thursday’s three-inning flawless outing in which he struck out three to keep the team from being as competitive in a 7-0 as one can, the veteran continued his perfect streak of not allowing an earned run. The lefty is the only member of the Blue Jays staff to have a 0.00 ERA, and his 0.73 WHIP is just behind closer Casey Janssen‘s fantastic 0.70 mark.
In short, Perez has been just about unhittable thus far, owning a .160 BAA in what has easily been his best MLB stint over his career.
Think it has to do with luck because of his .229 BABIP? Nah — not while he’s giving up line drives at a weak 14.3 percent and is practically a ground ball machine, inducing them at a 65.7 percent rate. Take that 3.29 GB/FB ratio along with a 5.00 K/BB thanks to an even 9.0 K/9?
Well, you’ve got Juan Perez, the unheralded, unexpected secret weapon for Toronto that might not stay that way for very much longer.
Adding David Price Should Be Yankees' Top Priority
The New York Yankees desperately need an ace, and acquiring David Price would be the blockbuster deal they need. Read More