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IBI Power Poll: What should the Indians do with Chris Perez?

IBI Power Poll: What should the Indians do with Chris Perez?
September 29, 2013
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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?

  1. 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.
  3. 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? 

  4. 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?


Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as  the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at

User Comments

October 1, 2013 - 5:08 PM EDT
WOW, I'm glad we didn't give up on Ubaldo as quickly as we want to give up on Perez. Putting a closer in with a five run lead, seldom works out well, but one run games, he's been darn good. Granted, he has created some some tough situations, even loading the bases with no outs. But, when he needed the strikeouts, he usually got them. This is the guy I would want if I needed an out right now.
September 30, 2013 - 3:06 PM EDT
He can sit at home and watch with his pot smoking pooch.
September 30, 2013 - 11:09 AM EDT
Chris Perez should not be on the playoff roster. He has not be good recently and has lost is confidence. He probably has worn out his welcome in Cleveland and wants to leave, but I think this season is a blip on his career and he will return to form next year. But it will probably not be in Cleveland.
September 30, 2013 - 9:33 AM EDT
5.60 with seven homers in 27 1/3 innings in the second half!!!! KEEP HIM ON THE ROSTER!!!! HE'S THE MAN!!!
September 30, 2013 - 9:28 AM EDT
All of my articles are brilliant...that is all...
September 30, 2013 - 5:16 AM EDT
Frankly this whole pole seems like a circle jerk. Francona took an average to slightly above average team to the playoffs and managed a pretty average pitching staff. This site, like Cleveland in general, is full of posters who want to throw every player to the wolves every time they have trouble or slump. They bitch about every regular including our MVP at one time or another. Let Francona decide since he understands his players better than any Cleveland fan who has not seen any player as often. There has been a big stretch of good articles including some of Jim's best work. IMO, this isn't up to his usual standard but we do have free speech.
Ali G.
September 29, 2013 - 7:44 PM EDT
Put him on a diet.
September 29, 2013 - 6:25 PM EDT
I think it is 100% certain that Perez makes the WILDCARD roster. With no need for three of your six starters, that is two to three extra spots for pen arms and I think he is on Wednesday's roster.

As for the ALDS roster, if they make it that far, I don't think he is on. If he is, it is at the expense of Carrasco or McAllister as a long reliever.
September 29, 2013 - 6:16 PM EDT
You've got to put your best 25 players on that roster for the playoffs. There's no time in October for letting guys work through issues. Unfortunately I count 12 guys (maybe even 13 if you consider McAllister's effectiveness 1st and even 2nd time through the order) ahead of Perez who I would rather have take the ball than the former tribe closer. So assuming Francona goes with a 12 pitcher / 13 pos'n player split, sorry I don't se him making the cut.
September 29, 2013 - 6:16 PM EDT
earn his way back as the first reliefer to be used and hope this gives him something to think about as he contemplates his future.
The running joke is too bad he has to sub mit to urine tests as he may need to get a buzz to relax him. maybe there is something to the relaxing aspect of the herb. obviously he has been high strung since his bust so maybe it had therapeudic function for him.
Gvl Steve
September 29, 2013 - 5:54 PM EDT
Playoff games are always close. You couldn't even use Perez right now with less than a five-run lead. Thanks for the saves, but CP can't help the team right now. Leave him off the roster, then non-tender him after that and save yourself 8 million bucks next year. Teams with $75M payrolls can't afford $20M bullpens. That money is needed elsewhere.
September 29, 2013 - 5:13 PM EDT
Release him.
September 29, 2013 - 5:13 PM EDT
26% right now think he would be a solid addition to this bullpen? What?
September 29, 2013 - 3:24 PM EDT
Thanks Vic and Rich for the replies...

I don't see a need for Perez. He generally melts down in non-save situations...and since he melts down in save situations too...time to say goodbye...and non-tender.

Vic...all of the above...can't locate...and his flat "must-strike" offerings are getting crushed...
Vic M
September 29, 2013 - 2:44 PM EDT
Perez serves up more beach balls than almost anyone else (Allen is close) and can't tell why from TV. Is he tipping his pitches or are they coming in flat as pancakes? He can't locate anything so a down and away could be chest high over the center of the plate. Some desperate team, like the Yankees, will take a change with Perez like they did Hafner.
Rich S.
September 29, 2013 - 2:35 PM EDT
No way can you keep Perez around. He is totally unreliable. The last man in the bullpen this year, Matt Albers, is a better pitcher than Perez this year. Perez will be non-tendered this off-season. Might as well just cut ties now and let Perez hang out with his dog.

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