Luis Perdomo Dislikes Thrillers

Back in the early part of the summer I wrote about Padres’ long-man Luis Perdomo. To call him a mop-up man is being generous. His average leverage index is 0.26, which is almost half of the next lowest-leveraged reliever. The Padres really don’t want him pitching in games in which the outcome is up in the air. It’s like Kevin Towers issued Bud Black a simple set of guidelines called the Perdomo Principles with the following instructions:

1. Only use when the score is +/- 5 runs.
2. Follow the first point religiously.

So I did what any person desperately wanting to label a player as the human white flag does and created graphs showing the margin of lead based on when Perdomo enters the game:


For those who prefer their data in words, here is a breakdown of Perdomo’s usage:

32 appearances
1 appearance when the Padres held the lead
2 appearances when the Padres were tied
29 appearances when the Padres were trailing
5 appearances when the Padres were trailing by less than five runs
15 appearances when the Padres were trailing by five or six runs
9 appearances when the Padres were trailing by seven or more runs

While serving as the anti-Heath Bell, Perdomo has shown some ability to strike batters out (21%), generate groundballs (50.6%), and give up home runs (19.6% of total fly balls). His 93-94 MPH fastball actually holds a plus run value despite being used more than half of the time meanwhile his other main pitch — a slider that sits in the high 80s — does not hold that same distinction.

The Padres can’t be blamed for limiting his exposure. Perdomo spent about a minute in Triple-A earlier this season but otherwise made the jump to the bigs straight from Double-A. It would seem protecting Perdomo’s confidence level is the only reason the Padres haven’t dropped him in more of their games, seeing as how the results matter little at this point.

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3 Responses to “Luis Perdomo Dislikes Thrillers”

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  1. Saw Perdomo strike out Ryan Roberts two nights ago, right before that crazy play where Hundley saved the ball from going in the dugout. The second strike was a 90 mph slider just off the plate. Swinging strike from Roberts. Next pitch, Perdomo throws a 96 mph fastball in almost the exact same spot. Roberts takes. Finally, for the fourth pitch, Perdomo throws a slider almost identical to the previous one in terms of velocity, movement, and placement. Roberts (a) swings, (b) misses, and (c) loses his shit. I swear, dude got all crazy-eyed.

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  2. Don J says:

    Not only is he the Padres “long” reliever, in blowouts he’s the arm they used(someone’s gotta do it, right?), but he also is a rule 5 draftee that the Giants took from St. Louis and when he was the last cut at the end of spring training, the Padres claimed him off waivers from the Giants.

    So yes by design, they wanted to use him in less stressful situations this year, slowly grow his confidence, so that in future years he can take on more important roles. He has a rubber arm and pretty good stuff.

    And, in his last 3 appearances he entered the game with Padres in the lead twice, and the other game he pitched in the 8th inning of a close game that the Padres won in the 10th. And hits 96 on the fastball and 89 on the slider.

    Of course, Petco does make him look good, as he sports a 2.87 ERA vs 6.89 on the road. But he’s held RH hitters to only a .634 OPS compared to .962 for leftys.

    I think the Padres have been happy with his performance this year.

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  3. Eric says:

    On a somewhat related note, I think another interesting case is that of former Padre/current Oriole side-armer Cla Meredith.

    From May 29 to August 24 of this year, Meredith pitched in 32 consecutive losses. That’s pretty amazing to me. He then pitched in one blowout win, and has since gone on to pitch in 6 more losses.

    In his last 39 games, his teams’ records have been 1-38. I don’t know what that makes his role, but it’s astounding to me.

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