Daily Dodger in Review: Chris Perez experiment goes boom

Daily Dodger in Review: Chris Perez experiment goes boom
Relief pitcher Chris Perez is a free agent after striking out 39 batters over 46 1/3 innings for the Dodgers last season. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

CHRIS PEREZ, 29, reliever.

Final 2014 stats: 1-3, 4.27 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, one save, .228 opponent batting average and 39 strikeouts and six homers in 46 1/3 innings.


Contract status: Free agent.

The good: Had a 3.23 ERA and held opponents to a .213 batting average in 23 home games. Allowed runs in only one of his first 14 appearances. Did not allow a run in his last seven games (two hits, four walks).

The bad: Between his nice start and finish, posted a 6.92 ERA in 28 games, allowing six homers in 26 innings. The Dodgers lost all faith in him and he was essentially done. On July 22, he walked four consecutive batters, no easy feat. Fell one appearance shy of earning an additional $500,000 (though he had previously earned $1.5 million in appearance bonuses). Missed most of August with bone spurs. When he didn’t make the playoff roster, he left the team and went home.

What's next: Not life as a Dodger.

The take: Perez averaged 31 saves a year in the four seasons with the Indians prior to signing with the Dodgers for $2.3 million. It seemed a decent, one-year gamble, the Dodgers figuring the former closer might rediscover his form in a new environment and act as one of the late-inning bridges to Kenley Jansen. Alas, it just never happened. The rest of his numbers were never as sexy as his save totals.

The former closers as set-up men (Brian Wilson, Brandon League, Perez) never panned out and Perez's future seemed sealed by the midpoint to the season. That he was never designated for assignment says all that’s needed about the state of the 2014 bullpen.