In one inning of a rehabilitation game against the Dodgers’ High-A club on Saturday, Perez through 30 pitches, 19 for strikes, allowing two hits and a walk with a strikeout. Six batters were faced, one scored.
Perez has missed the last several weeks with a shoulder injury that caused him to miss the World Baseball Classic. Originally considered to be an issue that could linger into the start of the 2013 season, Perez appears to be ready to lock down the back of the Tribe bullpen that could hold as many as eight players come Opening Day.
A recent ESPN The Magazine preview forecasted the Indians to finish second in the AL Central, falling just a few games shy of the Detroit Tigers. Perez’ availability should only serve to help the team’s case as they make their run in 2013.
In 2012, Perez provided his second consecutive All-Star campaign, saving a career high 39 games for the Indians. In 57.2 innings (61 games) pitched, the closer struck out 59 and walked just 16.