May 17 – Happy Birthday Pascual Perez

You want to know why I was sort of excited when the Yankees signed Pascual Perez to a three year, $5.7 million contract after the 1989 season? I’ll give you five reasons; Andy Hawkins, Dave Lapoint, Chuck Cadaret, Clay Parker and Walt Terrell. They were the Yankee starting rotation during the ’89 regular season and they were also cumulatively, a key reason why that New York team finished in fifth place in the AL East, thirteen games below .500. Perez had been a decent pitcher for the Braves and Expos and based on the ages and pedigrees of the Yankee starters he’d be joining in 1990, Pascual had the opportunity of becoming ace of the staff. That didn’t happen.

The Yankees’ new right hander had started just three games for New York at the beginning of the 1990 season when he hurt his throwing shoulder. He did not pitch again that season and the Yankees finished dead last in the AL East. It was again hoped that a healthy Perez would help rejuvenate the Yankee rotation in 1991 but it was not to be. Injuries sidelined him all of April, half of May, all of June and July and the first part of August. He was able to start fourteen games when he wasn’t on the DL but his 2-4 record was a bitter disappointment for Yankee fans.

With one more year left on his contract, there was hope Perez would be pitching the 1992 season with extra motivation. Instead, this guy violated the Major League drug policy which got him suspended for a full year. He never again pitched in a big league game.

Pascual was one of two brothers to pitch for the Yankees (Melido was the other.) He was one of three Perez brothers to play in the Majors and one of seven siblings to play minor league ball. His trademarks were sprinting to the mound from the dugout and his long curly unkempt hair style. Another former Yankee who had a brother playing in the big leagues shares Pascual’s May 17th birthday, as does this former Yankee co-owner and this long-ago Yankee World Series game-winning pitcher.

UPDATE: Pascual Perez was murdered on October 31, 2012, during a home invasion at his residence on the outskirts of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. He was 55 years-old.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1990 NYY 1 2 .333 1.29 3 3 0 0 0 0 14.0 8 3 2 0 3 12 0.786
1991 NYY 2 4 .333 3.18 14 14 0 0 0 0 73.2 68 26 26 7 24 41 1.249
11 Yrs 67 68 .496 3.44 207 193 6 21 4 0 1244.1 1167 541 475 107 344 822 1.214
ATL (4 yrs) 34 33 .507 3.92 101 96 2 11 2 0 601.2 621 291 262 60 176 375 1.325
MON (3 yrs) 28 21 .571 2.80 70 65 3 8 2 0 456.2 363 165 142 35 105 341 1.025
PIT (2 yrs) 2 8 .200 3.94 19 15 1 2 0 0 98.1 107 56 43 5 36 53 1.454
NYY (2 yrs) 3 6 .333 2.87 17 17 0 0 0 0 87.2 76 29 28 7 27 53 1.175
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/17/2013.

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