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Orioles Place Cionel Perez On 15-Day IL Due To Oblique Strain

Orioles Place Cionel Perez On 15-Day IL Due To Oblique Strain

The Orioles have placed southpaw Cionel Perez on the 15-day injured list due to a right oblique strain.  Right-hander Jonathan Heasley was called up from Triple-A to take Perez’s spot in the bullpen.

Perez faced only two batters during an appearance in yesterday’s 13-4 Orioles win over the Angels.  The lefty allowed a triple and a single before being removed with that was initially described as back discomfort, though the designation of an oblique strain creates more uncertainty about when Perez might be able to return.  Unless Perez has a very mild strain, oblique issues usually sideline players for at least 3-4 weeks, and often longer if the strains are of the Grade 2 category or higher.

Danny Coulombe and Keegan Akin are the other left-handed options in Baltimore’s pen, so the O’s should be able to manage the balance until Perez is able to return.  Coulombe is ticketed for more higher-leverage work in general, leaving Akin as the current top choice for perhaps more specialized work against left-handed batters.  Nick Vespi and Matt Krook are both on the 40-man roster and could be recalled if the Orioles feel more southpaw depth is required.

After posting a 6.04 ERA over his first 50 2/3 innings in the majors, Perez unexpected broke out after joining the O’s in 2022.  The lefty delivered a 1.40 ERA over 57 2/3 frames that season, even if his 3.48 SIERA was perhaps a better reflection of his overall performance.  Some regression hit in the form of a 3.54 ERA in 53 1/3 innings for Perez in 2023, and both his strikeout and walk rates were rather unimpressive.

Perez is a grounder specialist (54.7% career groundball rate) who has held left-handed batters to a .207/.305/.304 slash line during his time in the majors.  Perez has seemingly erased the home run problems that plagued him earlier in his career, as he has allowed just four homers over 111 innings with the Orioles.  He avoided arbitration with the club this winter by agreeing to a $1.2MM salary for 2024, and the O’s also hold a $2.2MM club option on his services for 2025.

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