When athletes begin to show any signs of decline or age, fans are often reminded that Father Time is undefeated. However, Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Joel Peralta proved this season it’s possible to hold off the undefeated champion.
The 11-year veteran dealt with a neck injury that carried down to his triceps and sidelined him for the majority of the year. At one point, season-ending and potentially career-ending surgery was suggested, if not believed to be required.
Peralta managed to return and pitched well once healthy. According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, the success has the right-hander intent on pitching next season:
Meanwhile, 39-year-old reliever Joel Peralta said his success over the last month of the season convinced him to come back for another year. Peralta said he plans to play winter ball after throwing just 29 innings for the Dodgers this season.
Peralta was acquired by the Dodgers from the Tampa Bay Rays last November, shortly after Andrew Friedman took over as president of baseball operations in Los Angeles.
Peralta was projected to be one of the more reliable arms for a Dodgers bullpen that needed improvement and stability. That was thrown off course a bit and he finished with a 4.34 ERA, 5.00 FIP and 1.24 WHIP in 33 appearances.
Whether Peralta pitches next season with the Dodgers is up to the club’s discretion as they hold a team option on his contract.