Reliever Oliver Perez hopes to crack Reds roster

By Gary Schatz - Associated Press

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Oliver Perez has his sights set on making the Cincinnati Reds’ Opening Day roster after the team recently signed the left-handed pitcher to a minor league contract.

Perez spent the past two seasons with the Washington Nationals. He made 50 appearances with the Nationals last year, pitching 33 innings with a 4.64 ERA.

The Reds plan to use him to get left-handed hitters out in pressure situations.

“We don’t have a lot of left-handed relief depth at least of the experienced nature,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He has a track record of being very, very tough on left-handed hitters. He has really found a niche in that role. He’s been durable.”

The Reds were the first team to contact Perez.

“I like new teams for the fresh air,” Perez said. “The Reds wanted me so I’m excited to be here.”

The 36-year old made his debut with the San Diego Padres in 2002 as a starter. He has also pitched for Pittsburgh, New York Mets, Seattle, Arizona and Houston before signing with the Nationals for the 2016 season.

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By Gary Schatz

Associated Press