Catcher Michael Perez was called up to the big leagues today, but not with the team Reno Aces fans expected.
Triple-A Reno’s parent team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, traded Perez and Single-A right-handed pitcher Brian Shaffer to Tampa Bay for right-handed reliever Matt Andriese. Perez is in the lineup tonight in the Rays game at Baltimore.
Perez, 25, appeared ready for the majors during his 58 games with the Aces this season. He has quick feet and hands and has prevented a number of wild pitches. He is especially adept at snagging way-high fastballs. He allowed just two passed balls on the season. He threw out 31 percent (14-of-43) of would-be base stealers.
The left-handed hitter was batting .284. A native of Puerto Rico, he was the Dbacks’ third-round pick in 2011. Perez is an intense player who usually wears a scowl underneath his catcher’s mask. But his play made Aces fans smile. With Perez in the lineup, the Aces won 29 times.
Arizona is in a pennant race and carries three catchers on its roster. It sent two prospects to the Rays for bullpen help. Andriese, 28, is in his fourth big league season. He has a 3-4 record in 27 games with a 4.07 ERA. He is capable of starting for the Dbacks. He has four starts with Tampa Bay this year and 99 in his career.
Arizona’s bullpen blew a five-run lead today and lost to the Chicago Cubs. Andriese was in uniform but did not play.
Shaffer was 7-5 with a 2.82 ERA in Single-A. He was a third-round pick in 2017.
The Aces are 50-53 and on a road trip, playing tonight in New Orleans. They return to the Biggest Little City on Wednesday, Aug. 1 for a seven game home stand. Shortstop Ildemaro Vargas is on a 24-game hitting streak.
–Tim Parsons and Isaiah Burrows