Joel Peralta Gutierrez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 170 lb.
- School Ventura College
- High School Centro Educacional Bonao
- Debut May 25, 2005
- Final Game July 5, 2016
- Born March 23, 1976 in Bonao, Monsenor Nouel, D.R.
On June 19, 2012, playing for the Tampa Bay Rays, Peralta was ejected from a game with the Washington Nationals for having pine tar on his glove. He had just come into the game in relief of David Price in the 8th inning when Nationals' manager Davey Johnson asked home plate umpire and crew chief Tim Tschida to check the pitcher's glove. Johnson had managed Peralta with the Nats back in 2010, leading to speculation that he knew exactly what was going on when he asked the umpire to intervene. The ejection came with an automatic 10-game suspension and led to a war of words between Rays manager Joe Maddon and Johnson after the game. He caught a bit of a break when MLB's suspension turned out to be only 8 games; he immediately appealed the sentence, which allowed him to pitch again against the Nationals on June 21st. He may have felt immediate pangs of regret, as he served up a tie-breaking two-run double to Danny Espinosa in the 6th inning of a 5-2 Rays' loss for his third defeat of the season. The next day, he dropped his appeal and began serving his suspension. He ended the season with a record of 2-6, 3.63 in 76 games.
In 2013, Peralta led the American League with 80 appearances out of the Rays' bullpen. He went 3-8 with a 3.41 ERA, allowing only 47 hits in 71 1/3 innings, while striking out 74. He also set the all-time record for holds that season, with 41. That total has been tied once, by Tony Watson in 2015, but has never been bettered.
Peralta fell ill after visiting family in the Dominican Republic during the 2014 All-Star break; he said that he had contracted the infamous chikungunya virus, whose recent prevalence had made headlines all over the Caribbean region. The mosquito-borne virus causes serious joint pain and arthritis-like symptoms, with the effects lasting for a number of weeks. He was inactive until July 30th as a result. He still ended up pitching 69 times, although his ERA went up to 4.41, but his record improved to 3-4. He had an excellent 74/15 K/W ratio in 63 1/3 innings. On November 20th, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with prospect Adam Liberatore in return for Ps Jose Dominguez and Greg Harris.
- AL Games Pitched Leader (2013)