- Rating: 2.07 (wait...someone gave him a 6???)
- 2022 stats: 7G, 4.1 IP, 15.75 ERA, 7.36 FIP, 2.250 WHIP, 1.00 SO/BB, 28 ERA+
- Date of birth: August 15, 1981 (41 years old)
- 2022 earnings: $105,110 (via Spotrac)
- 2023 status: DFA’d by the Diamondbacks in April 2022, will retire after the WBC.
“Oliver Pérez knew his days in the Majors were numbered last year, as he roamed the grounds at Progressive Field on Opening Day with an enormous grin on his face. At the time, he was 39 years old, but his excitement to play the game he loved mimicked that of a rookie during his big league debut.” - MLB.com article on Oliver Perez in February 2022
If he really knew that his days in the Majors “were numbered last year”, as the quoted article stated, then why did Oliver Perez come back from his decision to retire after playing baseball for one season more, but at home in Mexico?
Perez was as a starter in his first 9 seasons, for the Padres, Pirates, and Mets until he was moved over to the bullpen in the 2010 season. Those were hard times for the Mexican, who considered retirement at that moment, but emerged as a lefty reliever specialist from 2012 to 2019. Then the 3 batter minimum rule was introduced and his days as LOOGY were over.
In between two good seasons in the desert, in 2014 and 2015, pitching 87.2 innings to a 2.98 ERA. In 2021 he pitched just 3.2 innings in Cleveland and announced his decision to retire from baseball in February 2022. But the Diamondbacks came calling at his door for reasons we don’t understand (but it could be that they were just scavenging the market for cheap lefties) and Perez couldn’t resist the temptation of pitching for a 20th season in the major leagues.
2022 in review
Returning to your loved ones after a break is hardly ever a good advice and the same can be said for the reunion of the Diamondbacks and Oliver Perez. The lefty pitched just 3.1 innings in Spring Training and made it to the Opening Day roster of the Diamondbacks.
He pitched 1.1 scoreless innings on Opening Day, in the 4-2 win over the Padres, but after that it was all downhill except for one other scoreless appearance against the Astros, where he got the win in extras.
In the other games, it didn’t matter if it was a righty or a lefty, the heart of the lineup or the backend, everyone beat the shit out of Oliver Perez and his 88.6 mph fastball.
After 7 games the Diamondbacks wisely saw enough and decided it was time for Oliver Perez to go and the Mexican was DFAd on April 25 and released 3 days later.
But, because we duly respect the man for what he has accomplished during his career and for the Diamondbacks in 2015-2016, let’s show two joyful moments of his performance in 2022 and his little celebration dance. ¡Vamos!
After being released by the Diamondbacks, Perez returned to his original plan and caught up with the Toros de Tijuana and pitched to a respectable 3.38 ERA in 32 appearances. He is currently wrapping up his league career in the Mexican Winter League with the Tomateros de Culiacan.
After that Perez is expected to play in the World Baseball Classic with Mexico and that will mark the end of his professional baseball career.