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Designated LHP Scott Sauerbeck for Assignment

Recalled LHP Rafael Perez from Akron (AA)

By my estimation, a good reliever should do three things well (in no particular order):

(1) Keep the ball in the park

(2) Keep walks to a minimum

(3) Miss bats

Yes, you could say this about starters as well, but a setup man doesn't have the luxury of just keeping his team in the game; by the time a setup man enters a game, each run is precious.

So with this in mind, here's Scott Sauerbeck's 2006 line:

13.0 IP, 9 H, 11 SO, 9 BB, 2 HR

It's virtually impossible to gauge any pitcher based on just 13 innings, even a left-handed specialist. Batters are hitting just .196 against Scott, but he's been passing out walks and giving up leads. So yes, 13 innings is an extremely small sample, but LOOGYs make their living off small samples. There's no contractual advantage for keeping Sauerbeck around for the rest of the season. His $1.35M 2007 option is guaranteed if he pitches 55 innings or appears in 68 games this season.

Does this have anything to do with Sauerbeck's recent legal troubles? Perhaps, though if Sauerbeck had a 2.50 ERA, the Indians would have probably been more patient with him.

Rafael Perez was one of the surprise relievers to make the 40-man roster. He's dominated left-handed hitters, holding them to a .412 OPS in 16.1 IP. In May, Perez held all hitters faced to a .537 OPS. His GB/FB ratio for the season is roughly 2:1. In short, he's an interesting relief prospect.

His drawbacks are a relatively high walk rate (22 in 67.1 IP), and an average-at-best strikeout rate (53). He's been dominating his competition by sawing off bats, not by missing them altogether. Now it must be said that he's been starting, so his strikeout rate should go up as he returns to relief, but it's something to watch as he faces major-leaguers.