With the roller coaster of events that have occurred for the Los Angeles Dodgers thus far into season, the team still finds itself in first place in the National League West. Key bullpen arms have missed time, though now most of them are in the process of completing rehab assignments.
One relief pitcher who recently made his return is Joel Peralta. The 39 year old avoided season-ending surgery as part of his recovery and was reinstated from the disabled list on Monday. Upon adding Peralta to the bullpen, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly touched on what the right-hander brings to the table, via Bill Plunkett of the O.C. Register:
We’ve got a lot of guys out there with kind of the same look. Joel’s a different look,” Mattingly said. “He’s that experienced guy, kind of a cat burglar in a sense. You look at his stuff, this guy isn’t throwing 98 – how’s he getting people out? He’s not afraid to throw anything in any count.”
Peralta’s first appearance since being reinstated came in the 10th inning of Tuesday’s game. He gave up two hits and walked one, allowing the Chicago Cubs to load the bases with no outs. Kenley Jansen then entered and the Cubs won on Chris Denorfia’s sacrifice fly.
Following the loss Mattingly explained why he wasn’t completely sold on using Peralta in that situation while adding he was the right reliever to call on, according to to Plunkett:
I’m really trying to find a place to get Joel into the game, breaking him back in after being on the DL so long, trying to find a little bit of a soft spot to land for him,” Mattingly said. “I don’t really want to put him in that game in that spot. But he’s the right guy for that spot. It’s the bottom of the order. It’s a right-handed spot.”
The earned run Peralta was charged with is the first this season after he threw 5.2 scoreless innings over his first seven appearances of the season before landing on the DL.