Friday, March 2, 2012

Dominican Republic baseball player Joel Peralta re-signs with Tampa Bay Rays

Joel Peralta has played in the Dominican Winter League (LIDOM) for 12 strait years, so it meant a lot when he skipped his home country winter league this off-season.  He re-signed with the Rays for one year and $2.75 million.

Rays' manager Joe Maddon expected good last year, but what he got from Peralta was great.  He did not allow a run in 17 of his final 18 appearances, and lefties batted only .157 against him.  He also had six saves when closer Karl Farnsworth went out due to injury.

Fellow Rays' reliever JP Howell says he is happy to have Peralta back.  Howell says that his energy is contagious, and every time he looks at him he feels energized.

The Dominican Baseball Guy saw Peralta play several times in LIDOM action in 2009 for the Gigantes del Cibao.  Sitting in the right field stands, the Gigantes bullpen is inches from the fans.  And the Dominican Baseball Guy attests that Peralta has contagious energy.

Seeing him in person, one can see an always upbeat attitude and love for the game from Peralta.  He would often throw balls with the right fielder in between innings to warm him up (as seen below).  Peralta always threw fouls balls to the stands, and often laughed and joked with fans.  He also kept his bullpen mates alive.  And when he was ready to pitch, he zoned in and became totally serious.  Exactly the kind of attitude needed on a baseball diamond.

The Dominican Baseball Guy thought he had several pictures of Peralta playing with the Gigantes del Cibao in 2009, but this is the only one he found at the moment.  Hey, I know it is not the best picture, but at least it is proof that the Dominican Baseball Guy saw Peralta play with the Gigantes.  Joel is from Bonao, Dominican Republic.
Joel Peralta warms up the right fielder from the Gigantes del Cibao bullpen at the Julian Javier
Stadium in San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic, photo by Dominican Baseball Guy

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