Our early-morning guessing game is at a close, as it looks like the new arm coming up to replace Gerardo Concepcion in the bullpen will be Joel Peralta:
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) June 27, 2016
Cubs to tweak bullpen again. Expected to add recently signed RHP Peralta tonight. LHP Concepcion to head back to Iowa.
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) June 27, 2016
Peralta, 40, started the season with the Mariners after a down year with the Dodgers in 2015. The Cubs signed Peralta to a minor league deal in early June after the Mariners let him go.
In Seattle, he was sunk by potentially unsustainable home run rates, so there are reasons to dream on a bounce back (28.0% K rate, 7.0% BB rate). Peralta was last rather good back in 2011-14 with the Tampa Bay Rays, and, yes, Joe Maddon.
In his short time at Iowa, Peralta had four perfect outings and one oopsie-doodle-didn’t-record-an-out outing. Which is to say, there’s not much to go on there beyond whatever the coaches were seeing.
If Peralta indeed gets the call today, he’ll be added to the 40-man roster (which will be at a full 40), and will get a chance to slide into a gaping middle relief hole in the bullpen.
More specifically, Peralta might be used as something akin to a LOOGY, even though he’s a righty. Beginning with his time with the Rays in 2011, Peralta became an extreme reverse split guy, much harder on lefties than righties. That continued even into his unsuccessful stints with the Dodgers and Mariners, when lefties hit just .229/.302/.313 and .209/.261/.372 off of him, respectively.
No, this won’t stop anyone from following those Yankees reliever rumors, but Peralta could help the pen out for now, and potentially establish himself as a useful piece the rest of the way.