CLEVELAND -- Indians interim closer Chris Perez knew something had to change after his rough outings against the Tigers and Rangers. Ruben Niebla helped him change it.
Niebla, the Indians' assistant to the Major League coaching staff and former pitching coach at Double-A Akron and Class A Lake County, watched video of Perez in those two outings and compared it to video of Perez from the end of last season. He noticed that Perez was going into his delivery with his left shoulder turned too far away from the plate, and that was impacting Perez's ability to hit the outside corner against right-handed hitters and the inside corner against lefties.
"I was fighting my body," Perez said. "Everything was leaking back over."
Perez tweaked his delivery in a bullpen session with pitching coaches Tim Belcher and Scott Radinsky and took that into Saturday's save situation against the White Sox. For one night, at least, it worked out, as Perez retired the side in order to get his third save of the season, all of which have come against Chicago.
Perez is filling in as the Tribe's closer until Kerry Wood (strained back muscle) comes off the disabled list. Wood is scheduled to throw a simulated session against hitters in Minneapolis this week, so his return could be soon.