Edward Mujica had a ridiculous 1.73 ERA and 43/3 K/BB ratio over his first 57 1/3 innings this season. But the righty’s September has been nightmarish.
Mujica allowed three hits and two earned runs while recording only one out in an appearance Saturday night in St. Louis’ 6-2 defeat of the Cubs and now has an 11.05 ERA in 7 1/3 frames this month. “That was tough,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after Mujica’s latest poor appearance on Saturday. “I wanted things to go differently than that, for sure.”
Trevor Rosenthal has taken over as the Cardinals’ closer and there’s some question now about Mujica’s inclusion on the postseason roster. “We’ll see how he feels and (have) everybody kind of get their heads together,” said Matheny on that particular topic. “Right now is not the time to make that decision.”
St. Louis has locked up the National League Central crown and will try to clinch homefield advantage through the NLCS in Sunday’s series- and season-finale against the Cubs. A Braves loss will also clinch that.
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.