Martin Perez is shining in his first Red Sox season
This season hasn’t quite gone the way the Red Sox would’ve liked it to up to this point and I’m sure nobody is happy with their current spot in the standings. There are a few players that are doing incredibly well considering the circumstances, one of which is Martin Perez. The southpaw who was signed via free agency this past winter has been stellar for Boston and will look to continue that streak.
Perez is on a one year deal with the Red Sox but there is the possibility that the team picks up his option for 2021. Considering we have no idea how Chris Sale or Eduardo Rodriguez will have recovered from their respective medical woes, it’d be wise to retain the lefty. He was signed to be the fifth man in the rotation but a serious of events would thrust him to the number two slot, and he’s risen to the occasion.
Don’t let his record fool you, a 2-3 on the year sounds pretty pedestrian, but it should be better. Look at the rest of his stats, his 3.45 ERA is the best of any Boston starter in 2020 and he has a 23-15 K/BB ratio. In most of his starts, he’s given the Red Sox everything they need in order to get the win, but he hasn’t gotten it in return.
The offense has been sporadic and downright unpredictable this season, making a pitcher’s life really difficult. Then there’s the lovely bullpen that on any given night can be absolute lights out and on others, they can’t get an out to save their lives.
Look no further than Perez’s last start where he went 7.0 innings with just five hits, one run, and six strikeouts. The relievers couldn’t get the job done and they gave away his hard-fought win. He may not have gotten the loss that night but he sure as hell didn’t get the “W,” either. To this point, he’s far exceeding any expectations that were placed upon his shoulders when he put pen to paper during the offseason.
Martin Perez should be on the Red Sox “Untouchable List”
Unfortunately, that could be seen as a blessing or a curse. His strong outings could lead the Red Sox to extend his stay in Boston by activating his option. Or, and here comes the curse part, his value could be to a point where teams may be calling and with him technically being a free agent next winter, Chaim Bloom could move him elsewhere.
From a player perspective, it’s a win-win for Martin as he could finish 2020 strong in Boston or with a contender and potentially lock in his next contract.
The rap on Perez has always been that his potential is through the roof if he could ever string it all together. We’ve heard that a million times with a million players over the history of the game. Last year he began the season white-hot but would eventually come crashing back down and be as mediocre as you can be for the rest of the campaign.
With the shortened season we very well may just be getting that hot period and could run out of games before the tide turns.
He’s more than earned my trust through his first six starts of the season as well as spring training and summer camp. Yeah, he’s had some blemishes and hasn’t been perfect, but with the rotation in shambles, I’ll take him. Having him be the turn-man in the rotation next year to get it back to Sale could be huge for whoever is in the manager’s chair in 2021. Either way, I think we should see him in a Red Sox uniform going forward and not on the trade block.
That may sound like a backhanded compliment but it isn’t meant to be. Just think about it, next year we could have Sale, E-Rod, Nathan Eovaldi, and Perez leading the rotation. Add in another consistent and quality fifth man to that lineup and the Boston pitching doesn’t look so bad anymore.
I think it’d be foolish for Bloom to move a guy that they very much know what they have in with so much uncertainty staring his pitching staff in the face. When he was signed during the offseason, Perez was pretty honest that he felt like this was the club he needed to be with in order to finally reach what he had the ability to do, and he’s proving it. The lefty has become an absolute pleasure to watch every fifth day with “Perez Day,” as one of Red Sox Nation’s most anticipated days.
Martin Perez may not garner the attention and admiration that guys like Sale and Rodriguez do but he’s been a blessing for Ron Roenicke this year. Could Bloom get something of value in return for a Perez rental? Of Course. Would he be wise to do so with 2021 being such a mystery? Absolutely not. I think the southpaw has done more than enough to be on the list of guys that Boston can’t afford to move, and he should be locked in for next season as well.