Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune reports that the Pirates have signed lefty reliever Rafael Perez to a minor league deal. He’ll report to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Perez, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012. Last season, he pitched at Double-A for the Red Sox (30 2/3 innings) and at Triple-A for the Twins (four innings), posting a combined 2.60 ERA. This season, he has pitched at Triple-A with the Rangers (3 2/3 innings) and in the Mexican League with Rojos del Águila de Veracruz.
Over seven seasons in the major leagues, Perez has posted a 3.52 ERA in 329 innings.
Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.
It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.
Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.
Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.