Decreased velocity leads to DL stint for Rafael Perez

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Rafael Perez showed significantly diminished velocity in his last outing, with his fastball topping out in the mid-80s, and not surprisingly it turns out he was injured.

Cleveland has placed Perez on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle in his shoulder, recalling Nick Hagadone from Triple-A to replace him on the roster.

Perez has been a key setup man for the Indians during the past five seasons, posting an ERA under 3.50 in four of those years, but the 30-year-old left-hander’s average fastball velocity has gone from 90.7 miles per hour in 2010 to 89.3 mph in 2011 to 87.7 mph this year.

Report: Athletics to acquire Stephen Piscotty from the Cardinals

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Athletics and Cardinals have agreed on a trade involving outfielder Stephen Piscotty. The Cardinals will receive two as yet unknown minor leaguers in return.

Piscotty, 26, hit .235/.342/.367 with nine home runs and 39 RBI in 401 plate appearances for the Cardinals this past season. He dealt with injuries and with his mother’s ALS diagnosis, so it was a rough year, but very excusably so. The Cardinals had signed him to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension in March. He’s under contract through 2022 at a total of $29.5 million and has a club option for 2023 worth $15 million with a $1 million buyout.

The Cardinals had an outfield spot open up after agreeing to acquire Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins on Wednesday so the Piscotty trade doesn’t come as a surprise.