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Baseball Daily Dose

Martín Pérez Has Done It Again

by Janice Scurio
Updated On: June 1, 2022, 12:02 pm ET

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If you were looking for a prediction for who the American League Pitcher of the Month may be, this “may” be a strong argument. (I promise I’ll stop with the puns.) Texas Rangers southpaw Martín Pérez has finished a spectacular month of May, with a seven inning shutout of the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night. He allowed just three hits on 85 pitches, and struck out five. He picked up the win, and is now 4-2 with a spectacular (and major leagues-leading) 1.42 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over 61 innings pitched in 10 games started. The 31-year-old has allowed three just earned runs or fewer in ten consecutive starts this season; he’s also had eight straight outings twirling at least 6 innings while allowing one run or fewer.

Perez leads the major leagues in xERA, xwOBA, and limiting barrels. Perhaps the most fascinating part about Perez is that he has yet to allow a home run this year. Perez isn’t a strikeout pitcher as missing bats isn’t necessarily his game, but he’s able to pitch to contact rather efficiently. The southpaw relies primarily on his sinker which opponents hold a .294 wOBA against that pitch. His secondaries are decent as well, with his changeup being the standout pitch, as opponents carry a paltry .142 wOBA and 34.2% Whiff% against that pitch. His cutter is not far behind, with a .178 wOBA on that pitch, with a reliable 29.8% PutAway%. 

The lefty pitcher finished 2021 with a 4.74 ERA and 1.51 WHIP and a 97/36 K/BB ratio in 114 innings pitched for the Boston Red Sox, and hasn’t finished a season with a sub-4 ERA since 2013. Is Perez on the precipice of a breakthrough season? 

Maybe.

 

Pitchers with an EDGE

Jordan Montgomery vs. Orioles

7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Montgomery threw 87 pitches in this outing, 52 of them for strikes as he picked up the win - his first since September 21 of last year. He managed to garner nine swings and misses, contributing to a 26% CSW (called strikes plus whiffs.) He’s now allowed no more than three runs in each of his 10 starts this season.

George Kirby vs. Orioles

6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K

Crisp command and a good ground ball rate was key for this stellar performance. Kirby picked up his first career win in this start - a quality start, where his 11 whiffs on 94 pitches earned a 28% CSW. The rookie’s four seam fastball averaged out at 95.5 MPH.

Luis Castillo vs. Red Sox

6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 10 K

22 swings and misses. 22! That’s incredible, if you were wondering. Castillo’s four-seamer hit speeds of up to 99 MPH, and reaped 10 of those 22 whiffs, and the changeup also looked incredible, following suit with 8 whiffs. He had a 34% CSW on all pitches. Filthy stuff.

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Hitters with an EDGE

Joc Pederson vs. Phillies

2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI

Pederson did not start this contest, but was brought in to pinch hit for Curt Casali in the seventh inning. He did hit the 12th-inning game-winning two-run homer - an absolute blast that flew to the upper decks a whole 428 ft, powering the Giants to a 7-4 win over the Phillies. 

Alejandro Kirk vs. White Sox

3-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI

The Blue Jays DH went deep twice in a 6-5 win over the White Sox, finishing the evening with four RBI. Both of Kirk’s homers were off of Lucas Giolito, in the second and fifth innings respectively. He now has three homers on the year, and carries forth an .814 OPS.

Andrew Vaughn vs. Blue Jays

4 for 5, HR, 2 RBI 

Vaughn had a spectacular night at the plate and has cemented himself as Kevin Gausman’s nemesis, but it wasn’t enough for the White Sox as they fell to the Blue Jays. He’s slashing .367/.375/.667 with two homers and nine RBI in 30 plate appearances over his last seven games. 

 

Closing Time

Joe Barlow vs. Rays (9th Save)

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

A quick, easy, nine-pitch save for Barlow, consisting of a pop out, a fly out, and a groundout. He has successfully converted nine out of nine save opportunities, and has a 0.92 WHIP in 17 1/3 innings pitched. 

Tony Santillan vs. Red Sox (4th Save)

1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K

A rocky bottom of the ninth for Santillan who gave up a two-out single to Alex Verdugo, plating Enrique Hernandez. He was able to end the game by striking out Trevor Story. Santillan’s four saves is the most on the team for the Reds.

Jordan Romano vs. White Sox (16th Save)

1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB 1 K 

Romano was able to protect a one-run lead, though he gave up back-to-back singles. There was no danger of a rally, as he later was able to induce a double play, followed by a strikeout. His 16 saves currently leads the American League.

David Robertson vs. Brewers (7th Save)

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB 1 K

A nice bounce back save after he blew a save in his last appearance. He was able to get Luis Urias to ground out on 2-2, Christian Yelich went down swinging, and Tyrone Taylor grounded out to third for the final out of the game. That’s now seven out of nine save opportunities successfully converted. 

Wil Crowe vs. Dodgers (2nd Save)

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

A quick clean bottom of the ninth for Crowe, who was brought in to protect a two-run lead. Two flyouts and a groundout wrapped up this win for the Pirates, and Crowe’s second save. 

Ryan Pressly vs. Athletics (9th Save) 

1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

The closer was able to convert his ninth out of 11 save opportunities after a fly-out and a double play after giving up a lead-off single. He was able to preserve a two-run lead, securing the win for the Astros. 

 

Priority Pickup

Nick Plummer - OF- New York Mets - Rostered in 2% of Yahoo Leagues

A former first-round draft pick, Plummer’s bat has looked fantastic in the short amount of time he’s played, including a game-tying homer and four runs driven in overall in Monday’s 13-5 blowout against the Nationals. The 25-year-old will give the Mets some outfield depth, but the amount of playing time he’ll get going forward should be taken into consideration. He’s worth keeping an eye on. 

 

Wednesday’s Matchup of the Day

Michael Kopech (1-1, 1.29 ERA) vs. Hyun Jin Ryu (2-0 5.48 ERA)

Kopech has been mostly lights out this year as he’s easing his way into the White Sox rotation post Tommy John surgery, after serving as a reliever in 2021. In his last start, Kopech carried a bid for a perfect game into the sixth inning, and allowed just one hit and two walks over seven frames, pitching against a top offense in the New York Yankees.

Hyun Jin Ryu left his start on Thursday against the Angels with tightness in his left elbow, but the left-hander told reporters that he'll be able to make his next start – it looks like he’s on schedule to pitch tomorrow. The 35-year-old left-hander has allowed just three runs on 16 hits with a 7/2 K/BB ratio across 15 2/3 innings across three starts since returning from the injured list earlier this month. 

 

American League Quick Hits

Kurt Suzuki is day-to-day with a neck contusion…Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said Tuesday that Casey Mize's (elbow) latest throwing session went well. … Twins placed SS Carlos Correa on the COVID-19 injured list. … White Sox placed SS Tim Anderson on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to May 30, with a right groin strain. … Rays placed SS Wander Franco on the 10-day injured list with a right quadriceps strain. … Guardians manager Terry Francona told reporters Tuesday that Aaron Civale's (glute) recent MRI revealed a pocket of blood that needs to be drained.

National League Quick Hits

Rockies manager Bud Black said Monday that Kris Bryant (back) hasn't resumed swinging a bat. … Mike Clevinger (triceps) will likely be activated from the 15-day injured list this week. … Drew Pomeranz (forearm) has begun throwing bullpen sessions. … Tylor Megill (biceps) threw a live batting practice session Tuesday at Citi Field. … Joe Ross has opted to undergo his second career Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery. … Evan Longoria made an early exit from Tuesday night's win over the Phillies due to right shoulder soreness. … Jean Segura has been diagnosed with a fractured right index finger.

Janice Scurio

Janice Scurio (@scuriiosa) is a writer that has appeared on various baseball podcasts and blogs about the White Sox over at South Side Sox.