Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Joel Peralta dazzling as setup man for Tampa Bay Rays

SEATTLE — Fernando Rodney has deservedly received top billing for his ongoing star turns, producing the most saves in the majors as well as the most entertaining onfield celebration as he shoots his imaginary arrow.

But Joel Peralta's performance in a supporting role has certainly been worthy of some attention.

"What Joel has done hasn't been lost on me or us," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We get it. It's been fabulous. And I pretty much believe industry-wide it's been recognized."

Cast primarily as Rodney's setup man, Peralta delivered again in Monday's late 4-1 win. After Alex Cobb made an early 4-0 lead stand up with his fourth straight solid seven-inning start, and before Rodney finished for his 22nd straight and 37th overall save, Peralta did his part, yet again, striking out the side.

"Amazing," Rodney said Tuesday. "He's been amazing."

Peralta's overall numbers — 1-4, 3.42 in an AL high-matching 57 games — don't look all that good, primarily the result of a rough start to the season he attributed to his mechanics being out of whack after not playing winter ball.

Take out his first four appearances, and the 2.27 ERA, .151 opponents average and 29 holds (second most in the AL) plus two saves and a win are more representative of his contributions.

Since the All-Star break, after a trip home to the Dominican Republic for a mechanical tune-up with his longtime personal pitching guru, Fausto Mejia, Peralta has been nearly untouchable.

In 161/3 innings over 17 games, Peralta has allowed one run, for a 0.55 ERA, and only four hits, for a .077 average. Of the 56 batters he has faced, he has struck out a staggering 25.

"I've never seen myself as a strikeout pitcher," he said. "So I have no idea why it is happening."

Peralta's combination of pitches and assortment of delivery tactics are challenging for hitters — right- and left-handed, and often the opposing team's best.

"He's gone through the meaty part of the batting order a lot," Maddon said. "And a lot of those have been 1-2-3."

Peralta said Rodney-like attention "is not what I'm looking for," that he is more interested in helping the team. But the question was asked of Maddon if the more workmanlike Peralta should have some type of celebratory gimmick of his own.

"Maybe," Maddon said, "a slingshot would be appropriate."

Joel Peralta dazzling as setup man for Tampa Bay Rays 08/14/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 1:00am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Buccaneers defense was among NFL's best when its pressure got to the QB

    Bucs

    It doesn't matter how many times they've thrown a football. It doesn't matter how many seasons they've played. It doesn't matter whether they have a degree from Harvard or Central Florida.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy recorded 6.5 sacks last season, but many of his other contributions didn't show up in the box scores. [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]

  2. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger

    Blogs

    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  3. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season

    College

    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  4. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium

    Blogs

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  5. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH

    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.