Chris Perez’s Blown Save With Roto Implications

Jack Moore covered this for the main site, but I wanted to touch on it from a fantasy perspective. Chris Perez blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning last night, to no surprise of anyone who has read RotoGraphs all winter. Dan Wade looked at Perez and Pestano and I elaborated on why I felt that Pestano should be drafted before spring training began.

It is important to note that while the mile per hour readings on Cleveland’s gun yesterday said both Perez and Pestano were down, the gun also read that each pitcher was down roughly the same amount. So even though Perez may still be injured, the injury did not force him to a lower velocity.

Even with that disclaimer, Perez did post the lowest average mile per hour marks on his fastball and slider last year, so being consistent with his marks last year is not exactly a good thing. Perez’s decrease in velocity has led to two consecutive years of a decreasing strikeout-to-walk ratio, which sat at a lowly 1.50 mark last year.

Perez is simply not a very good pitcher, and this will be come more evident as the year continues. Maybe he pitches just well enough to hold onto his closer spot, as he should have a bit of leeway after two 20 save seasons, but Vinnie Pestano is likely right on his heels.

Speaking of Pestano, he looked very impressive in his outing yesterday. Coming after Perez blew the lead, Pestano threw 1.1 innings of scoreless ball with a strikeout, hit allowed, and hit batsman. He hit Kelly Johnson with a slider that generated a tremendous amount of break that hit Johnson in the lower part of his leg. Despite hitting a batter, Pestano’s slider looked great throughout the outing.

He does have issues with getting left-handers out, as his three-quarters arm slot has forced him to relatively large righty-lefty splits (1.34 FIP vs. RHP, 5.01 FIP vs. LHP), but that number could even out over a bigger sample. It is not, however, a given that it does. This is certainly something worth monitoring over the season, and it could prevent Pestano from taking over Perez’s role.

Despite Pestano’s poor splits, he is a must own for anyone who took the risk of drafting or picking up Perez. It’s to the point where you should either trade Perez if you have him or trade for Pestano if he is owned. Owning both will at least help improve strikeout and WHIP rates in standard leagues, as Pestano is one of the better middle relievers in the game. Keep watch of how Perez performs over his next few outings, because a DL stint or removal from the closer spot could be in store if he blows any more three run leads.

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Ben has been at RotoGraphs since 2012 and focuses most of his fantasy baseball attention toward dynasty and keeper leagues.

8 Responses to “Chris Perez’s Blown Save With Roto Implications”

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  1. 123 says:

    chris perez sucks

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  2. jon says:

    Ben – would you rather own Pestano than Kenley Jansen at this point in a league that counts K/9 and Saves (but not holds)? I’m speculating for saves after waiting on them in the draft. Figure Pestano’s proximity to the job makes the drop-off in K/9 withstandable. Thoughts?

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  3. willmc1366 says:

    though I’m not Ben, I am facing a similar decision Jon.

    Saves are so fickle, I agree with your assessment that Pestano is more likely to take over sooner and therefore is a better piece to add.

    Although Kenley Jansen is an absolute beast, Javy Guerra is a helluva lot mroe competent than Chris Perez at this point, dontcha think?

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  4. jon says:

    I agree. I’m probably gonna roll with Pestano – but, of course, he just gave up a solo homer to untie the game. Let’s just my crop of RPs are not off to a great start…

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  5. rotofan says:

    Hector Santiago just picked up his first save for the White Sox. He’s long gone in my deep league but for the many shallow-league players he’s worth a look.

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  6. Chad Perez says:

    You guys forget that Pestano sucks as well. He lost the game last night while Perez was perfect. Pestano is an average Joe coming off a great debut season. Your first time through the league is much easier, add to that his relief role. One good season in his position means literally nothing. Nothing to see here folks…

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  7. isavage30 says:

    Perez actually looked good today, possible that Thursday was an aberration and more a result of his spring training injury. He was clocking 92-94mph after Pestano was registering at 88-90. With every pitcher in that series registering about 2 mph below normal, it would seem Perez may actually be back up to his 2010 velocity.

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  8. Matty Brown says:

    I have stayed away from Perez like the plague the past 2 fantasy seasons.

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