Cleveland Sports Insiders

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The Spin Cycle: What should the Indians do with Chris Perez?

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It’s the final day of the regular season for the Cleveland Indians, and there are many, many different directions IBI’s power poll could take. Before we head in that direction, let’s take a look at last week’s power poll, as it stands today.

Last week’s question was ‘Which two teams will win the American League wild-card?’ Of course, the answer to that question isn’t really any clearer today than it was last Saturday, but the choice of the IBI following was very clear, even though not team reached a majority.

The Cleveland Indians topped the poll with 81 of the potential 186 votes, or 43.55% of the entire vote. That wasn’t very surprising, taking into account the fact that this is a Cleveland Indians’ site. You could also point to the Indians final schedule, which was against the three worst teams in baseball. The Indians currently hold destiny in their hand with a one-game lead, and only one game to play.

The Tampa Bay Rays, who were one game ahead of the Indians when this poll was posted, finished a strong second, with 74 of the potential votes, or 39.78% of the vote. The Rays were plugging right along until this past weekend, when the Toronto Blue Jays decided to become a true spoiler. The Jays beat the Rays on both Friday and Saturday to bump the Rays to one game behind the Indians heading into Sunday’s games. If that were their only issue, things would still be rosy for the Rays. Of course, they have a Texas Rangers’ problem.

The Texas Rangers finished third in this poll, with 25 votes, or 13.44% of the vote. The Rangers were playing bad baseball, and looked to have the hardest schedule of all the teams. They had to finish against the Angels, who were playing much more to their expectations. The Rangers haven’t lost a game since this poll was posted, and have caught up to the Rays, tied for the second playoff spot, one game behind the Indians.

So here we are, with one game left, and nothing decided. Tune in to IBI at around 5:00, to see where this poll ends up, and whether or not there are two teams left standing, or all three. It should be a fun ride.

You can get your last votes in for LAST WEEK’S POLL right here.

That leads us to today’s Power Poll…or should I say…Power Polls.

This week’s question focuses on perhaps the biggest player topic of the week, and perhaps you could even say the year without it being hyperbole:

Chris Perez.

Terry Francona removed Perez as the Cleveland Indians’ primary closer earlier this week after two implosions nearly cost the Indians a chance at the playoffs. During two appearances over the past week, Perez gave up a total of six runs, blew one save and nearly blew another. The resilient Indians won both games, but no thanks to the enigmatic Perez.

The brash reliever just hasn’t been very good this year, and in particular, down the stretch. Since the start of August, Perez has a 7.52 ERA.

Some folks will throw out his save percentage since his DL-trip as a positive, and I suppose it is. He HAS saved 19-of-22 chances since then, which is certainly respectable.

At the end of the day, that IS the job of a closer…to save games. The problem with Perez is that he is getting worse, and the last thing you want in the playoffs is a guy who has been saving games by the skin of his teeth to finally teeter over that edge.

Perez has done enough teetering.

The bullpen has come around since the trade deadline, but not Perez.

According to Francona, “We want to get him (Perez) back to helping us, because he’s got a bunch of saves. You don’t just give up on that. He says he’s completely healthy. He’s just not locating.”

That’s being extremely optimistic.

When you look at the current members of the Indians bullpen, it’s hard to figure out where he stands. The stone cold locks for the pen are Cody AllenJoe SmithBryan ShawMatt Albers, Mark Rzepczynski and likely Rich Hill, as a second lefty. Others that could be knocking on the door are Carlos CarrascoNick HagadoneC.C. LeeVinnie Pestano and Josh Tomlin. You also have to consider whichever starter doesn’t make the rotation, should the Indians go further than Wednesday.

Is he truly better than any of the names listed above?

Today’s power poll is very simple: What should Terry Francona do with Chris Perez moving forward?

  • Let him earn his way back over the course of the next couple of games.  Should the Francona throw him back out there in the playoffs as the primary closer, with no questions asked? It’s just too late in the year for the Indians to try something new.


  • Keep him in the bullpen, but as an early reliever or set-up man. Perez is pitching like garbage, but is it simply because he’s closing? Is the quick fix giving him a less-pressure-filled role in the pen? 
  • Keep him off the playoff roster altogether. Perez will be a cancer to this team with his closer-role gone. Not only that, but he isn’t even one of the top ten relievers on this team. Bye-Bye Mr. Perez. 

Don’t just vote!!!! Leave a comment as well. What are your thoughts on the mercurial closer, and can he help this team going forward into the playoffs, as either a pitcher, or an eventual trade commodity?


What should Terry Francona do with Chris Perez?

Author: Jim Pete

Jim KNOWS that Albert Belle deserved the MVP, and that the false prophet, Mo Vaughn did not. He thinks that Mike and Greg Pruitt are truly related, because, c'mon, what are the chances? He cries at least once a day, watching videos of LeBron's block, followed by Kyrie's shot. He loves miracles at Richfield, Ron Harper, parking at Gate D, Alex Cole park dimensions, and the glorious Kenny Lofton, who is the REAL Alex Cole. When he isn't writing or talking Cleveland sports for EHC, he moonlights as a husband, father, coach, teacher, Twitter screamer, golfer, runner, and lover of spaghetti carbonara. He also commutes from Raleigh to the North Coast, because it builds character

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