Chance for Felix Perez?
For what seems like years now, I’ve been getting emails, comments and Tweets asking me about OF Felix Perez and when he might get a chance in the big leagues with the Reds. Perez, who was signed from Cuba in 2010, has been at Triple-A Louisville since near the end of the 2011 season.
Perez had a nice season for Louisville in 2014 — batting .280/.325/.450 with 12 home runs and 74 RBIs, 29 walks and 85 strikeouts in 122 games. He had an even nicer winter ball season with Caracas in the Venezuelan league batting .360/.393/.572 with nine homers and 38 RBIs in 56 games.
For the first time this spring, the 30-year-old Perez will be in big league camp as a non-roster player. He’s a left-handed hitter and in my mind, an intriguing option for the bench. The current Reds bench — Brayan Pena, Skip Schumaker, Kristopher Negron, Eugenio Suarez and perhaps Jason Bourgeois — lacks power that could change games in the late innings. Brennan Boesch, another non-roster player, has big league experience and power and could conceivably be that guy. Donald Lutz is already on the 40-man roster and challenging for a spot — and will be out of options. Both Boesch and Lutz are left-handed hitters like Perez.
But if things break a certain way, perhaps Perez can be a factor for a 25-man roster spot with a good camp … or put himself in position to get a call-up when there is a need during the season.