Cleat Geeks

Going out on Bottom?

Whatever happened to going out on top? Whatever happened to riding off into the sunset? Or have you ever heard the saying, quitting while you’re ahead? I guess in baseball not everyone believes in these statements.

Chris Perez while closing for the Cleveland Indians.

Chris Perez while closing for the Cleveland Indians.

According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Brewers have released reliever Chris Perez. Perez was in camp on a minor league deal. He was granted his release rather than re-assigned so he can look for another big league opportunity. An opportunity that may have passed him by.

Perez, 29, pitched 46 innings for the Dodgers in 2014. He posted a 4.27 ERA with 7.58 K/9 and 4.86 BB/9. The former Indians closer has locked down 133 career saves, but he began to struggle with command and control in 2013. His stuff has remained largely intact, including a 94 mph fastball. He pitched to a 2.70 ERA this spring with five strikeouts and three walks in 10 innings.

The Rangers have also released Ryan Lunwick from his minor league contract, according to a tweet by Rangers EVP of Communications

Ludwick crashes into the outfield scoreboard while with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Ludwick crashes into the outfield scoreboard while with the St. Louis Cardinals.

John Blake. Ludwick was informed earlier this week that he would not make the Opening Day roster.

The 36-year-old outfielder scuffled over the last two seasons with the Reds. In 400 plate appearances, he hit .244/.308/.375 with nine home runs. Ludwick got a late start to his major league career, finally breaking out with the Cardinals in his age 29 season. His last successful season came in 2012, when he blasted 26 home runs with a .275/.346/.531 line. He hit just .200/.188/.300 in 30 plate appearances this spring.

I watched both of these players over the last couple of years, and it was very noticeable from my untrained eye that both of these players were mere shells of their former selves. Then I thought, it must be the money, they must not have been paid very much. Ludwick has actually been in the big leagues for 12 seasons, and has made over $30 million dollars with almost half of that money paid to him by the Cincinnati Reds ($12 million). Perez did not make the amount of money that Ludwick did, but he also only had a 7 seven year carrer as well. Still, over those 7 years he made over $17 million dollars. I think that is enough to live on.

Chris Perez actually started his career with St.Louis as they drafted him in the 1st round of the 2006 amateur draft with pick number 42. He was then with there big league club in 2008 and 2009. On June 27th of 2009 Perez and Jess Todd were sent to the Cleveland Indians for Mark DeRosa. While in Cleveland he had 4 decent years, but 2 in particular were excellent. Those 2 years got him elected to the All-Star game both years and also saw him finish 4th in the American League in saves as well.

Remember that All-Star year that Ludwick had with the St. Louis Cardinals? He batted .299 with 40 doubles, 37 home runs and 113 RBI’s. That is the Ryan Ludwick I want to remember. Those 2 years of 35+ saves Perez had in Cleveland where he proudly represented his team in the All-Star game. That is the Chris Perez I want to remember. Not these two guys that are desperate and hanging on for that 24th and 25th roster spots.

It is to late to go out on top, or to go out on mediocrity for that matter, but please go now so you do not go out on bottom.

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