May 25, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer (7) talks with Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak (51) during the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
Heading to the disabled list with a mild rotator cuff strain, Anthony Swarzak takes with him the long relief role. While he was never dominant in that role but he was very serviceable, posting an ERA of 3.02 as a reliever while allowing 17 runs off 44 hits in 50.2 innings. (As a starter he allowed the same number of runs in 18.1 innings.)
In Swarzak's spot the Twins have called up 28-year old right hander Luis Perdomo. Perdomo throws a mid-90s fastball and a slider in the upper 80s, complimenting them with a changeup which is actually more like a slower fastball. According to FanGraphs, if you're happy believing numbers from a couple of years ago, the changeup's velocity is only about 5mph less than the fastball.
Join us after the jump for Perdomo's story. He's not your everyday journeyman.
Signed as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic by the Indians in 2003, he was traded to the Cardinals for Anthony Reyes in 2008 (four years ago today, actually). At that point he had dominated High-A ball and was giving Double-A hitters a run for their money, striking out more than a batter per inning as an intimidating 24-year old. Still the Cardinals didn't protect him that winter, and the Giants picked him in the Rule 5 draft. He never pitched an inning for the organization, selected off waivers in early April '09 by the Padres.
That season he was a regular out of the San Diego bullpen, appearing in 35 games but racking up 60 innings. He struck out 55, allowed just 57 hits, but the 34 walks and 11 home runs kept him from having gaudy numbers. In spite of some promise, he saw just one inning of work for the Padres the following season and was sent for his first real taste of Triple-A. His strikout numbers dipped that season and didn't recover the next, and after the '11 campaign he was a minor league free agent.
Less than three weeks after getting his walking papers he was a member of the Minnesota Twins. And it certainly appears like Perdomo's got his groove back. For 26 games and 39.1 innings he destroyed Double-A batters, striking out 43, walking just 16 and not allowing a single home run. His promotion to Triple-A yielded similarly positive results: 18 strikeouts in 19.2 innings, 0.6 base runners per inning, 0 home runs, 0.92 ERA, .157 opponent batting average.
It's hard to get too excited about a 28-year old pitcher who has only had one season of modest success in the Majors, especially when that was three years ago. But there's also something exciting about second chances (even if you're on your fifth team).
Welcome back to the big leagues, Luis Perdomo. Here's hoping you can sustain your re-found minor league success.
Oh, and Carl Pavano was shifted from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL to make room for Perdomo. This doesn't change when Pavano can come off of the disabled list, since he's already been on it for so long, but it does free up that roster spot.