Herges promoted, Perez optioned
The Indians gave Rafael Perez the benefit of the doubt, and Perez gave the Indians a 15.19 ERA.
It wasn’t exactly a fair trade, which is why Perez is bound for Triple-A Columbus and the Indians have purchased the contract of right-hander Matt Herges.
Today’s move reeks of being the first of several to repair (or, at the very least, recast) a bumbling, stumbling bullpen that is crippling any chance of the Indians putting together a sustained run of victories. Perez was the main offender in the ‘pen.
Counted on to be a reliable setup man, he instead gave up 18 runs on 19 hits with nine walks and five strikeouts in just 10 2/3 innings. He had shown some improvement after the Indians tooled with him behind the scenes for a few days last month, but then he reverted to his early April woes, giving up 12 runs in his last seven innings of work and a career-high five runs Tuesday in Toronto.
Herges, 39, came to the Indians on a Minor League contract and will now have the opportunity to do something he’s had a chance to do with eight other teams — i.e., get Major League hitters out. Herges carries a career 40-34 record and 3.94 ERA in 537 appearances in the Majors, mostly in a relief role. He was 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA and four saves in 11 appearances as the Columbus closer.
The Indians aren’t done there. They’ll continue to look for relief trade possibilities, though that’s not an easy area to shop for right now, and they’ll potentially slot some mid-level starting prospects into relief roles with the hope that they’ll click and can come aboard.