The club with baseball’s best record just got a little strong: the Dodgers activated Matt Kemp from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday.
Kemp, the NL MVP runner-up in 2011, was off to a torrid start this season before suffering a strained left hamstring. Fortunately, he missed the minimum 15 days, and he’ll now have a chance to get back to work on his incredible .359/.446/.727 line. He’s homered 12 times in 117 at-bats this season.
Going back to Triple-A to make room for Kemp on the roster is 24-year-old Jerry Sands. Given five starts against lefties during Kemp’s absence, he went 4-for-20 with two doubles and an 8/1 K/BB ratio.
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.