Pérez with the Seattle Mariners
Arizona Diamondbacks – No. 59
August 15, 1981 |
Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico
|June 16, 2002 for the San Diego Padres|
(through 2014 season)
|Earned run average||4.45|
Óliver Pérez Martínez (born August 15, 1981) is a Mexican professional baseball pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball. He has played for the San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets and Seattle Mariners. He has also competed for the Mexican national baseball team in the 2006, 2009, and 2013 World Baseball Classics.
San Diego Padres
Pérez was signed by the San Diego Padres as an amateur free agent in 1999. He made his debut with the Padres in 2002. Pérez did well for a rookie after being called up by the Padres in 2002, striking out over a batter per inning, but he suffered from control issues at times. He regressed somewhat in 2003.[clarification needed]
In August 2003, Pérez was sent by San Diego to Pittsburgh along with Jason Bay and Cory Stewart in the same trade that brought Brian Giles to the Padres. Pérez continued to struggle for his new team.
Before the 2004 season, the team overhauled his pitching mechanics. His average of 10.97 strikeouts per nine innings was highest in the Majors (239 SO/196 IP); his 2.98 ERA was fifth in the National League (tied with Roger Clemens); and his 12–10 record could have been ever better with reasonable run support early in the season. Pirates' bats provided two or fewer runs in Pérez' 16 starts before All-Star break, causing him to post a 5–4 record with five no decisions despite a 3.24 ERA. In that season, Pérez pitched at least six innings and allowed three or fewer runs in 21 of his 30 starts (70%). Through this first three seasons, Pérez had compiled a 20–25 record with 474 strikeouts and a 3.86 ERA in 412.2 innings. His 239 strikeouts that year are currently the third-most in a season by a modern-day Pirate, trailing only Bob Veale's 276 in 1965 and 250 in 1964.
By contrast, Pérez's 2005 season was disappointing. He posted a 5.85 ERA in a season plagued by injuries. The Pirates were forced to place him on the disabled list on June 29 after he broke his toe kicking a cart following a loss to St. Louis. He missed two and a half months, returning in September to post a 4.58 ERA in 19.2 late season innings. Pérez had also lost significant speed off his fastball.
In 2006, Pérez opened the Pirates' season as the number one starter. On June 27, Pérez was sent to the Pirates bullpen after struggling through the first half of the season with an ERA over 6.00. On June 29, he was sent to the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians, with Tom Gorzelanny being called up to replace him in the starting rotation.
New York Mets
On July 31, 2006, Pérez and Roberto Hernández were traded to the New York Mets in exchange for Xavier Nady. The Mets assigned Pérez to their AAA affiliate, the Norfolk Tides. He was recalled to the Mets' major league roster on August 26, 2006. After two subpar starts, Pérez threw a complete game shutout against the Atlanta Braves in the second game of a doubleheader on September 6, 2006.
After the Mets lost two starting pitchers to injury in the final week before the playoffs started, they were forced to use Pérez in the playoff rotation. His first playoff start came in Game 4 of the NLCS, in which he picked up his first career postseason win. His second playoff start came in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS vs the Cardinals, he went 6 strong innings allowing 1 ER, The Mets would eventually go on to lose the game 3–1.
Entering the 2007 season, there were concerns about the Mets' pitching staff and whether Pérez could live up to his potential. However, Pérez emerged as one of the Mets' most consistent pitchers. Pérez finished the 2007 season 15–10 with a 3.56 ERA, striking out 174 in 177 innings pitched, while walking only 79.
In the 2008 season, Pérez was inconsistent, posting a record of 10–7 with a 4.22 ERA. He was also prone to big innings striking at any moment. An example would be in a start against the San Francisco Giants, he went 1⁄3 of an inning allowing 5 hits and 6 runs all of them earned. An example of his dominance would be his start against the New York Yankees on June 29, 2008. Pérez went 7 innings allowing just one run on a home run by Wilson Betemit striking out a season high 8 batters. After the firing of manager Willie Randolph, Pérez pitched better. At the request of Pedro Martinez and pitching coach Dan Warthen, he has changed his delivery to the plate. Instead of letting his head hang down when he makes his delivery, he now makes a bowing motion. He led the majors in walks, with 105.
On February 3, 2009, the Mets signed Pérez to a three-year $36 million deal to return. On May 6, Pérez was put on the disabled list due to patellar tendinitis in his right leg. He returned to the rotation on July 8, 2009.
On August 26, 2009, Pérez was diagnosed with patellar tendinitis in his right knee and underwent undergo season-ending surgery. He finished the season 3–4 with a 6.82 ERA.
On May 15, 2010, manager Jerry Manuel moved Pérez to the bullpen. Pérez refused a minor league assignment to work on his pitching despite both his poor play and repeated attempts by the Mets' front office.
On June 5, 2010, the Mets placed Pérez on the 15-day DL due to a patella tendinitis of right knee. As Pérez was placed on the DL soon after refusing an assignment to the minor leagues a second time, the league investigated the timing of the DL stint, later clearing it. After July 21, Pérez made only six appearances, all in relief. Pérez finished the 2010 season with 0 wins, 5 losses, and a 6.80 ERA in just 46.1 innings pitched.
The Mets unconditionally released Pérez on March 21, 2011, still being responsible for the remaining 12 million dollars on his contract.
On March 23, 2011, the Washington Nationals signed Perez to a minor league deal and assigned him to the Class AAA Syracuse Chiefs. Perez was later moved to the AA Harrisburg Senators.
On January 19, 2012, the Seattle Mariners signed Perez to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. The contract contained a $750,000 bonus for making the Mariners 25-man roster and $250,000 in performance incentives. Perez was promoted from AAA Tacoma to the major league club on June 16 in the role of relief pitcher.  In his first month back in the majors since 2010, observers took note of his improved fastball velocity and strikeout-to-walk ratio. In 2012, Pérez went 1-3 with a 2.12 ERA with 29.2 innings in 33 games.
On November 3, Pérez signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with up to $600,000 in performance bonuses.
- "2008 Major League Baseball Batting Against". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
- Marty Noble (February 3, 2009). "Perez signs three-year deal with Mets". MLB.com. Retrieved February 3, 2009.
- Pérez headed to DL; Niese coming up MRI exam reveals tendinitis in left-hander's right knee
- "Perez latest Met to be sidelined for season — Associated Press — MLB". Sporting News. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
- "– News: Oliver Perez Refuses Rehab Assignment, Again". Metsblog.com. May 31, 2010. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
- "Major League Baseball clears injury to New York Mets pitcher Oliver Perez — ESPN New York". Sports.espn.go.com. January 1, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
- Rubin, Adam (March 23, 2011). "Mets release Oliver Perez". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- DiComo, Anthony (March 21, 2011). "Divorce becomes final: Mets release Perez". MLB.com. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- "Stats, scores and schedules". The Washington Post. March 23, 2011.
- Johns, Greg (March 8, 2012). "Left-hander Oliver Perez trying to get back to Majors with Mariners as reliever". Mariners.com.
- "Seattle Mariners call veteran southpaw Oliver Perez". ESPN.com. June 16, 2012.
- Cameron, Dave (July 27, 2012). "Oliver Perez Is Good Now. Seriously.". FanGraphs.
- Snyder, Matt (November 3, 2012). "Oliver Perez re-signs with Mariners for 1 year, $1.5M". CBS Sports.
- "Diamondbacks confirm signing of LHP Perez". Associated Press. ESPN.com. March 10, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)