Rafael Pérez (baseball)
May 15, 1982 |
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
|Bats: Left||Throws: Left|
|April 20, 2006 for the Cleveland Indians|
(through 2012 season)
|Earned run average||3.64|
Rafael Jerome Pérez (born May 15, 1982) is a left-handed relief pitcher who is a free agent. He was signed by the Cleveland Indians as an undrafted free agent in January 2002. He currently lives in Freeport, New York, on Long Island.
Minor league career
In 2002, Pérez finished second in the Dominican Summer League with a 0.96 ERA. In 2003, he was named Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year playing for the Single-A Burlington Indians and led the Appalachian League in wins (9-3) and ERA (1.70).In 2005, his 12 wins tied for 3rd in Indians organization and he had a 2.62 ERA in 29 combined appearances (22 starts) for Kinston and Akron. He was added to the Indians 40-man roster in November. In 2006, Pérez had a 2.81 ERA in 12 starts with Akron and a 2.63 ERA in 13 relief appearances with Triple-A Buffalo.
Major league career
Pérez was not expected to be a major part of the Indians' major league club in 2007, but he surprised the Indians organization after he was called up from the team's Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, on May 28. Pérez was initially slated for long relief, but after he demonstrated his ability to pitch in tight situations, he was inserted into a setup role alongside right-handed reliever Rafael Betancourt. The two setup men have been nicknamed Rafey Left and Rafey Right by local Indians fans. Pérez, with his hard fastball and tight slider, quickly became one of the most dominant relievers in the league. In 2007, Pérez posted a sparkling 1.78 ERA, over 602⁄3 innings pitched in 44 appearances. He had a WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) of only .923, and has held left-handed batters to just a .145 batting average. ESPN analyst Peter Gammons called him "arguably the best left-handed reliever on the planet."
- Castrovince, Anthony (9 June 2006). "Performance cost Sauerbeck". MLB.com. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)