The Indians closer, battling a shoulder strain, should be ready on Opening Day according to manager Terry Francona. Via MLB.com’s Barry M. Bloom:
Francona said that Perez can pitch every other day beginning Tuesday as Spring Training winds down, and then will throw a light ‘pen session on April 1, the day before the start of the regular season.
As far as him being ready to start the season on the active roster, Francona said:
“I think everything leans toward that as long as there are no setbacks, which I don’t think there will be. I think he’s looking pretty good.”
Perez himself thinks he’s ready as well:
— Chris Perez (@ChrisPerez54) March 23, 2013
In 57.2 innings last year, the right-hander posted a 3.59 ERA with 39 saves in his third season as the team’s closer.