The Cleveland Indians announced Wednesday morning that veteran southpaw Oliver Perez was designated for assignment. Ryan Lewis of The Akron Beacon-Journal was first with the news on Twitter.
Nick Wittgren is back from the paternity list, and Cleveland has designated Oliver Perez for assignment.
Terry Francona said he's been having a hard time finding enough opportunities to use Perez within Cleveland's bullpen.
— Ryan Lewis (@ByRyanLewis) April 28, 2021
Perez, who has pitched in the major leagues for 20 seasons with eight different teams, was a valuable part of the Indians relief corp. So far this year, he had made a total of five appearances in which he posted a 0.00 ERA with four strikeouts. Last season, the lefty finished the shortened 60-game slate with a 2.00 ERA over 18 innings of work. Over that sample, he put up a 1.056 WHIP along with 14 strikeouts.
The 2021 season marked Perez fourth consecutive season with the Cleveland Indians. Altogether during his tenure in Cleveland, Perez pitched to the tune of a 2.57 ERA over 144 appearances. Throughout his career, he has also spent time with the New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, Washington Nationals, Seattle Mariners, and Houston Astros.
Corresponding Move for the Cleveland Indians
As mentioned by Ryan Lewis in the tweet above, Nick Wittgren is now back in action. Over the last two seasons, Wittgren has been another important part of the bullpen. However, he has not been off to the greatest start so far this season. Over six appearances this year, the right-hander has a 10.13 ERA with a 2.250 WHIP.
While that is certainly not ideal, the numbers Wittgren posted over 2019 and 2020 are more in-line with the type of reliever he can be. Between both of those seasons, he put up a 3.00 ERA over 81 and one-third innings. Furthermore, he had a 10.6 K/9 rate last season along with 60 strikeouts over the 2019 slate.
Overall, the Cleveland Indians bullpen has been very effective over the first 22 games of this season. For a team that gets a lot of recognition for their starting rotation and rightfully so, the bullpen has been just as valuable and effective. Indians relievers have combined for the fourth lowest ERA (2.63) and have recorded the third lowest Opponent Batting Average Against (.198) in the American League.
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