Jimmy Rollins is a daddy now. His wife gave birth to their first baby on Sunday. Congrats, Jimmy! And say goodbye to sleeping late, ever. On the bright side, when your daughter is eight years-old she will constantly tell you how lame you are and ask you what life was like in “the olden days.” Indeed, that look he has on his face in the pic to the right is the same look he’ll have on his face every single time his daughter says stuff that makes him feel older than hell.
Baseball, being more enlightened than, say, coal mines and law firms, has paternity leave. Rollins was granted it, which gives a player up to 72 hours away from the team. Catcher Erik Kratz has been recalled from Lehigh Valley for the time being. Since it’ll be a short stay, I hope Kratz can pocket as many of those free candy bars they have laying around the big league clubhouses while he can.
The Reds have signed free agent reliever Oliver Perez to a minor-league contract, the team announced Saturday. The deal comes with a major-league invite and could be worth $1.25 million if Perez secures a roster spot this spring, with an additional $500,000 in potential performance bonuses.
Perez, 36, is coming off of a two-year run with the Nationals. He produced a 4.64 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 an d10.6 SO/9 through 50 relief appearances and 33 innings with the club in 2017. The veteran lefty hasn’t kept an ERA under 4.00 in at least four seasons, but he continues to be undeniably solid against left-handed batters, holding them to a .227/.301/.364 batting line over 18 1/3 innings last year.
While returning southpaw Wandy Peralta appears to have locked down a bullpen spot already, Perez will still compete for another role against fellow left-handers Cody Reed and Amir Garrett, both of whom also have experience in the rotation. If Perez doesn’t break camp with the team, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon notes, he’ll be permitted to opt out of his contract. The Reds are currently looking to bounce back from a dismal performance in 2017, one in which their bullpen ranked 28th among major league teams with a collective 5.63 ERA and -1.2 fWAR.