Rays Prospects

Rays Winter Leagues Recap: What’s the Deal With Tomas Perez?

By Robbie Knopf

A lot of things about the Winter Leagues don’t make any sense, but Tomas Perez‘s success may be among the most confounding among it all. How in the world is the 41 year old ex-Devil Ray playing so well?

Dominican Winter League: Aguilas Cibaenas 6, Tigres del Licey 1

A couple of ex-Tampa Bay Rays minor leaguers appeared in relief for Cibaenas to help close out this game. Juan Sandoval went 0.2 shutout innings striking out 1 while walking 1 while Matt Ramsey finished the game with a shutout frame working around a hit.

Sandoval ended up back in the Mexican League after the Rays released him this season, and now he’s in the DWL looking to catch in with another big league organization. Ramsey is in quite a different spot, pitching well between the Double-A affiliates of the Rays and the Miami Marlins this season and hoping to make his big league debut next year. The Rays traded him away for international bonus pool slots in July.

Toros del Este 4, Leones de Escogido 3

For Escogido, Jordan Pacheco pinch-hit for shortstop Pedro Lopez and grounded out. I only mention that to bring up a fun fact I thought was amusing. Pacheco has played most of his minor league games at catcher and slotted in mostly as a first baseman in the major leagues, but he actually made his professional debut as a shortstop. I would not have guessed that.

For Este, Bruedlin Suero allowed a hit in 0.2 scoreless innings while Mayo Acosta went 0 for 3 with a walk.

Mexican Pacific League: Yaquis de Obregón 12, Caneros de los Mochis 1

Alberto Castillo‘s third start for the Caneros was not nearly as good as the first two. He lasted just 2.1 innings allowing 5 runs on 6 hits, striking out 3 and walking 3 as well. Justin Christian also had a poor game for los Mochis, going 0 for 4, but at least Carlos Fisher tossed a perfect inning with a strikeout. Armando Araiza got into the game on defense for the Yaquis.

Venezuelan Winter League: Bravos de Margarita 5, Tiburones de La Guaira 2

Matt Nevarez continues to look very good for the Bravos. He tossed a scoreless inning in this game, working around a hit in the strikeout, to give him a 1.17 ERA through 7 appearances. Nevarez has always featured a promising arsenal, but injuries ended his time in the Rays system and control issues have also been a problem for him the past.

Taylor Motter also went 0 for 3 with a walk for the Bravos in their win. Erold Andrus and Cesar Suarez also appeared in the game for La Guaira, with Andrus going 1 for 5 and Suarez going 0 for 4.

Caribes de Anzoátegui 4, Cardenales de Lara 2

In the third inning of this game, Tomas Perez drilled a two-run homer for the Caribes to tie this game at 2 and continue his crazy run to begin the season. Perez, 41 years of age, now has a .381/.435/.643 line through 11 games. Obviously, it’s a small sample size, but how many 41 year olds could have any stretch like that?

One somewhat interesting thing is that Perez, a switch-hitter, is hitting .441 (15 for 34) against right-handed pitching while going just 1 for 8 against lefties. That’s notable because Perez actually hit better against lefties than righties in his big league career. Maybe it will correct itself over time, but how often does a 40 year old shift his platoon split?

Brandon Allen was Perez’s protection in the Anzoátegui lineup and kept playing well himself, going 1 for 3 with a walk.