Zoning in on Joel Peralta

ZoningIn32_Peralta

Zoning in on the 2016 Mariners is a series in which we examine every player on the 2016 Mariners. We explain their role on the field, what they’re like off of it and provide highlights and photos.

Every year, there are players who come to Spring Training just looking for a chance. There isn’t a role specifically carved out for them, but they come looking to open some eyes, and be there if needed. That was Joel Peralta. The 40-year-old reliever came to compete, and now he’s on the roster for the 2016 Mariners.

Peralta signed a Minor League deal with the Mariners on February 9th and came to camp as a non-roster invitee. He pitched last year with the Dodgers, spending some time on the disabled list as well. But heading into this year, he was feeling good again and wanted to keep playing.

“As long as I feel healthy and get hitters out, my age is not a big deal,” he said in speaking with Greg Johns for Mariners.com. “The day when I feel I can’t get anybody out, that’s the day for me to go home. I don’t know when that happens, but it’s not this year.”

Peralta is feeling confident after playing over the offseason in the Dominican Winter League and then the Caribbean Series, the annual tournament between the winter league champions from the D.R., Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Cuba.

Of course, there’s plenty before that too, as he’s a veteran of 11 Major League seasons, having been a staple of some very good Tampa Bay Rays bullpens from 2011 through 2014. Peralta’s experience is something that surely had value in the eyes of general manager Jerry Dipoto.

“Joel is a gamer,” Dipoto said when announcing Peralta was being added to the 40 man roster. “He makes a difference in our clubhouse. I think Joel is a leader in the bullpen. He also showed physically, he’s been 90-92 [mph] all spring and his split-finger is a weapon. He’s a guy who gets righties and lefties out, kind of a reverse splits type, and especially in a bullpen that is going to start without Charlie Furbush, the idea that a Joel Peralta is capable of coming in and getting the better left-handed hitters in the league and having strikeout stuff really helps.”

Off the Field

Joel Peralta very recently celebrated his 40th birthday. It was something the clubhouse had quite a bit of fun with, even getting him a motorized scooters to wheel around on.

Here’s a look at the cake that accompanied it:

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Highlights

 

 

 

Photos

More in the Zoning In on the 2016 Mariners Series:

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