The next player on the 2020 San Francisco Giants season reviews is left-handed reliever Wandy Peralta.
25 games, 27.1 innings, 22 hits, 11 walks, 2 hit by pitch, 3 home runs, 25 strikeouts, 1.207 WHIP
3.29 ERA, 4.22 FIP, 0.3 rWAR, 0.1 fWAR
Status throughout the season
Peralta made the Opening Day roster and stayed on it all season long.
There’s a saying that a good waiter should neither be seen nor heard. Personally, I find that a little bit dehumanizing, and the thought of trying to hide the presence of a person serving me food makes me a touch uncomfortable.
I do think it’s a pretty good mantra for middle relievers though. Peralta appeared in more than 40% of the Giants games this year, and I’m struggling to remember any of them. That’s a good thing! You want to remember starting pitchers, though hopefully for the right reasons. And you want to remember high-leverage relievers, though again, hopefully for the right reasons.
Middle relievers? The less memorable, the better, because that means they’re just quietly doing their jobs.
Perhaps that’s revisionist history in Peralta’s case. He did have one disastrous outing, when he allowed five runs without recording an out. But that came when the Giants were knee-deep in a 15-3 loss to the Oakland A’s so, fair or not, Peralta’s struggles there aren’t particularly memorable.
He didn’t do anything spectacular — his strikeout rate was good, but not great, his WHIP was decidedly average, and his home run suppression was about what you expect out of a reliever. But he didn’t do anything disastrous.
He was just there when the Giants needed him, all season long. And while the ERA far outperformed the FIP, the FIP was still plenty fine for a middle reliever, who pitched everywhere from the third inning to the ninth.
Plus, this was fun:
Role in 2021
Peralta’s no sure thing to make the 2021 roster, but he made a strong case with his performance this year. The Giants will try and reshape the bullpen so that it’s less of a dumpster fire and more of an asset going forward, but Peralta won’t be at the top of the list of players who need to be replaced.
I would expect him to have a similar role next year, though we’ll likely see him ride the Sacramento shuttle quite a bit.
There’s a limit to how good your grade can be when you’re a middle reliever, which just might be the least valuable position in baseball. But he played the role well.
How would you grade Wandy Peralta’s season?
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