We had a Hernan Perez sighting on the mound last night in the Washington Nationals blowout loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Perez is one of the more versatile players in the major leagues, as he can interchangeably play seven different positions on any given night. He also has an extensive pitching history, for a guy who is a position player by trade.
I may be in the minority, though I like when a position player gets the opportunity to pitch. I’d rather it be the Nationals hitters facing opposing team’s position players, but we can’t always get what we want. One thing I don’t care much for, is Perez’s reaction to striking out a batter.
With his strut around the mound, Washington Nationals “pitcher” Hernan Perez showed up St. Louis Cardinals hitter, Lane Thomas.
I try to look at this from different angles. Yes, they players just having fun. He’s out of position not necessarily out of his element. This is a pitcher’s equivalent to the bat flip. I hear all those arguments. Seeing Perez stalk the mound and eyeball the hitter after striking him out doesn’t sit well, however.
When Max Scherzer does this, I don’t have a problem. He’s paid to do it. Emotions are high when a pitcher is grinding each and every at-bat. Striking out the best hitter of the opposing team in a close game, the adrenaline running, great, stalk the mound. For Perez, what adrenaline is he working off of? He’s in the game to mop up. They are losing 14-3? His actions are a direct insult to Lane Thomas, the batter he struck out.
So often we see these position players come in and get jacked. Perez himself gave up a home run to Brian Dozier a few years ago. If Dozier clowns Perez he looks idiotic, he’s a big league hitter and expected to hit home runs, especially off a batting practice fastball. Why would Perez in turn clown Thomas?
Thomas has all of 79 career at-bats under his belt. He was sent up to pinch hit. If Perez thinks he is something special why wouldn’t he stalk after striking out the best hitter on the Cardinals, let alone a fringe player. Because he probably would strike out the best hitter.
I just want to know the mindset of Perez? Does he think he should be taken serious as a pitcher? Was he trying to lighten the mood of a 13-run game? Was he trying to get a laugh from his teammates?
To Hernan Perez when he gets called upon to pitch again, I’d say get the outs and get back in the dugout. Leave the shenanigans for batting practice.