Red Sox fans came to appreciate the hard work and good nature of Martín Pérez in his two seasons with Boston. “Pérez Days” could be festive occasions at Fenway but the results at the end of the game weren’t always there.
Yes, there were bright spots, but in all, Pérez’ time ended with a 10-13 record and a 4.65 ERA. After a particularly rough stretch that yielded a 7.13 ERA in 11 starts, Pérez was demoted to the bullpen last August.
Not surprisingly, the team passed on a chance to re-sign him for 2022.
But the Red Sox front office, which seems to pride itself on finding undervalued talent (see Matt Strahm, Jake Diekman and Michael Wacha as examples), seems to have dropped the ball when it came to evaluating Pérez’ real value. His stuff is playing, and playing big for his new team, the Texas Rangers.
Historic in Texas
In 10 outings with Texas the season, Pérez is 4-2 with a Major League-best 1.42 ERA. For the month of May, his 0.64 ERA was the lowest by an American Leaguer any any single month since Johan Santana‘s 0.45 ERA of September 2004 (minimum 40.0 IP). Last week, against the formidable Rays, Pérez worked 7.0 shutout innings, allowing just three baserunners in all.
Texas has won seven of Pérez’ last eight starts. That’s no fluke. The 31-year-old Venezuela native has lasted at least 6.0 innings and hasn’t allowed more than one earned run in each of those games, tying him for the third-longest non-losing streak since earned runs became an official statistic in 1913. Only Hall of Famer Bob Gibson (11 games) and Jake Arrieta (10 games) have posted longer streaks.
Pérez is now tied with another undervalued pitcher to whom Boston showed the door: Jon Lester, who similarly had eight such games in 2016 after leaving Boston for the Cubs.