Success against lefties key in adding Perez to 'pen

Houston trades Minor League pitcher for veteran hurler

Success against lefties key in adding Perez to 'pen

OAKLAND -- Considering his success against left-handed bats this year -- they are hitting .183 against him -- veteran left-hander Oliver Perez gives Astros manager A.J. Hinch another relief option and brings an experienced arm to the bullpen, where Tony Sipp is currently the only southpaw.

The Astros landed Perez late Friday in a trade with Arizona, sending 19-year-old Minor League left-hander Junior Garcia to Arizona. Perez isn't going to join the Astros until Sunday's series finale. After Saturday's 2-1 loss to the A's, the Astros optioned right-hander Asher Wojciechowski to Triple-A Fresno to make room for Perez.

"Any time you can add experience and quality, it's being opportunistic," Hinch said. "Given the situation we're in, given the opponents we're going to have the next six weeks, another left-handed pitcher can be very advantageous for us, and when you throw on top of that he's good, he's got experience, he's pitched in a variety of roles. It will be a good addition for us."

Perez has posted a 3.10 ERA in 48 games for Arizona this year with 37 strikeouts in 29 innings. A veteran of 13 Major League seasons, Perez is 67-80 with a 4.42 ERA in 417 career appearances, including 195 starts. The Astros are his sixth team.

Hinch spoke to Perez on the phone on Friday and on Saturday talked to Arizona manager Chip Hale and bullpen coach Mel Stottlemyre to get the skinny on Perez.

"I'll be as familiar with him when he comes here," he said. "We've never crossed paths together, but he's been in the league so long it's hard not to know him or know about him. He'll blend in very well. He's pitched on so many different teams. He'll adapt quickly to this club."

With the D-backs, Perez faced right-handers and left-handers equally, but he'll be used mostly against lefties with the Astros.

"We got him specifically because of how tough he can be against left-handed hitters, and there's a lot of left-handed hitters in September and a lot of left-handed hitters in the back end of August," Hinch said. "I'll talk to him a little bit about how his arm responds, how much I can use him. But Chip and the staff over there raved about this makeup, his team-first mentality and the personality he'll bring to our club, which is already full of some pretty interesting personalities.

The Astros began the year with Sipp and Joe Thatcher as lefties in the bullpen, but Thatcher was designated for assignment on July 21 and was recently re-signed to a contract and assigned to Triple-A Fresno. Sipp is holding lefties to a .211 batting average and righties to a .194 average.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.