Prior to today’s extra-innings victory over the White Sox, the Rays selected the contract of right-hander Hector Perez from Triple-A. To create space on the 26-man and 40-man rosters, respectively, the Rays optioned righty Cooper Criswell to Triple-A, and moved Jeffrey Springs to the 60-day injured list. (Springs will miss the rest of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.)
Perez didn’t pitch in today’s game, so he is still waiting for his second career MLB appearance. The 26-year-old’s resume in the Show consists of one game and 1 2/3 innings of work with the Blue Jays in 2020, and Perez was charged with two earned runs in his lone outing. Originally an international signing for the Astros in 2014, Perez was part of the trade package Houston sent to Toronto for Roberto Osuna at the 2018 trade deadline, and the Jays then dealt Perez to the Reds during the 2020-21 offseason.
After joining the Orioles a free agent last season, Perez then made his way to Tampa Bay via the minor league version of the 2022 Rule 5 Draft. Perez has only a 7.71 ERA over seven innings with Triple-A Durham this season, but a lot of the damage came in one particularly poor outing, as the right-hander allowed four runs in one inning to Syracuse on April 18 (his last time on the mound). Perez does have a whopping 37.1% strikeout rate, whiffing 13 of his 35 batters faced.
Perez has always been pretty good at missing bats during his minor league career, but a lack of control has been a persistent issue. Walks have been a factor in Perez’s lack of results in the upper minors (4.53 ERA in 204 2/3 Double-A innings, 8.15 ERA in 17 2/3 Triple-A innings), but his walk rate was down to a more palatable 8.6% in the small sample of his 2023 work. Perez is out of minor league options, so unless he sticks in Tampa’s bullpen, the Rays would have to designate him for assignment and expose him for waivers in order to try and sneak Perez back to the farm system.