BOSTON SPORTS WAVE

Red Sox Remove Martin Perez Out of Starting Rotation, Place Lefty in Bullpen

After lasting just one out into the second inning Thursday, the Red Sox decided to remove left-handed hurler Martin Perez out of the starting rotation.

“We talked to Martin today, and he’s going to the bullpen,” manager Alex Cora announced Friday. “It’s something that, because of where we’re at, and the people that we’re adding in the upcoming days, it just makes sense.”

Perez, through his 22 starts, has only managed to go six innings three times, and is 7-8 with a 4.77 ERA through 100 innings.

“I think stuff wise, I’ve been saying this all along, his stuff is a lot better than the results,” said Cora. “But obviously, it’s where we’re gonna be roster wise in the upcoming days.”

Unlike fellow lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, advanced metrics don’t back up his lackluster ERA. Perez has a 5.71 xERA to go along with a 4.90 FIP, 4.52 xFIP, and a 4.60 SIERA this season. The Venezuelan-born 30-year-old doesn’t rank above the 38th percentile in any category besides curveball spin rate and walk rate.

Taking his spot in the rotation, will be Tanner Houck, who has had much more success. The right-hander has a 2.45 ERA this season through six outings (four starts), and has a career ERA of 1.62 after tallying an 0.53 ERA through three starts in 2020.

“I had a conversation with him,” Cora went on to say. “Obviously it’s not easy, as a manager and as a player to have that conversation, but he understands. He’s done it before. Obviously with Darwinzon (Hernandez) being down, having that third lefty, is something that I’ve been telling Chaim, we’ll be good, especially against a few teams in this division. Now, obviously New York is not as right-handed as they were early. Tampa, the Yankees, and obviously we’re gonna play some teams that have a lot of switch hitters. So, I do believe, somehow someway, he’s gonna help us out in the bullpen.”

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

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