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Dodgers 2015 profile: Joel Peralta, the security blanket

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Photo: Jon SooHoo | LA Dodgers

Peralta in 10 words or less

Andrew Friedman's first big move with his new team

Question

Can Joel Peralta, at age 39, continue to be the workhorse he was the last four years with the Rays? And will his actual numbers live up to his peripherals?

Peralta was sidelined briefly with shoulder discomfort in spring training, but is scheduled to throw live batting practice on Tuesday morning, the final step before pitching in games.

Over the last four years Peralta's numbers have been reasonably close, with a 3.58 ERA, 3.40 FIP and 3.63 xFIP. But in 2014 he had a 4.41 ERA despite excellent strikeout (27.9 percent) and walk (5.7 percent) rates, thanks in part to nine home runs allowed. He had a 3.40 FIP and 3.11 xFIP, and thinks transitioning from the American League East to the National League West will help.

"That's one of the reasons I was so happy coming to the Dodgers," Peralta said. "I think the ballpark will help me a lot."

Quotable

Peralta pitched in the Dominican Winter League seven of the last eight years, but didn't this offseason, and blamed the lack of routine on his brief shoulder ailment.

"Normally I play winter ball. I didn't pitch this year because I'm on a new team, I didn't want anything to happen to make Andrew look bad," Peralta said. "We talked about it. He didn't want me to pitch. Normally I talk him into it, get a couple innings in even if he doesn't want me to. But this year I didn't argue."

Trivia

Made his big league debut at age 29, in 2005 with the Angels.

Peralta's 297 games pitched are the most in baseball the last four years, including at least 69 games for four straight seasons. His 269⅓ innings during that span rank seventh in baseball.

The Dodgers acquired him via trade with the Rays on Nov. 20, 2014 along with pitcher Adam Liberatore in exchange for pitchers Jose Dominguez and Greg Harris.

Contract status

Peralta will make $2.5 million in 2015, and has two more club options for 2016 and 2017 at the same price, with no buyout if not exercised.

Stats

Year Age IP BB% K% ERA FIP
2012 36 67 6.4% 31.8% 3.63 3.14
2013 37 71⅓ 11.7% 25.4% 3.41 3.68
2014 38 63⅓ 5.7% 27.9% 4.41 3.40
2015 projections - Age 39 season
Source IP BB% K% ERA FIP
Bill James 67 7.6% 24.6% 2.82 3.74
PECOTA 54⅔ 6.3% 26.2% 2.80 3.36
Steamer 55 7.4% 25.4% 3.00 3.46
ZiPS 56⅔ 7.6% 25.6% 3.65 3.59

2015 outlook

Given his late career start, Peralta doesn't have the mileage of most 39-year-olds, so even with his current shoulder ailment I think Peralta will be a reliable part of the Dodgers bullpen. That high strikeout rate and low walk rate will play, so I'll guess a 3.30 ERA with 68 strikeouts and 19 walks in 60 innings. What is your guess for 2015? Be sure to enter those in the comments.