THE PRESENT: The Mud Hens placed OF Timo Perez on the temporary inactive list on June 19 after the Tigers signed OF Jeff Salazar as a free agent.
THE PAST, PART ONE: Perez spent time in the major leagues with the New York Mets, Chicago White Sox and St. Louis before joining the Mud Hens in 2007. Perez hit .309 with Toledo that season and had 13 homers and 69 RBIs; he was named to the IL All-Star team (and was game MVP) as well as the league’s post-season All-Star team. He also played in 29 games for Detroit that season and batted .389. Perez spent all of 2008 with the Mud Hens and hit .302 with 13 homers and 63 RBIs. He came to spring training with the Hens in 2009 but was released in a numbers crunch; he played for Veracruz in the Mexican League that season and batted .323 in 77 games. Perez began last season with Albuquerque, the Dodgers’ PCL affiliate, and hit .296 in 41 games before being released. Late in the season he signed with the Phillies and played for their Double-A affiliate in Reading, Pa., batting .255 in 43 games.
THE PAST, PART TWO: Originally signed by Colorado in 2002, Salazar eventually played in 19 games for the Rockies in 2006, hitting .283 with a home run and eight RBIs. Salazar joined Arizona in 2007 and hit .277 in 38 games with the Diamondbacks; the following year he played in 90 games for Arizona and hit .211 with a pair of homers and 12 RBIs. In 2009 Salazar played in 21 games for Pittsburgh, hitting .043, but spent most of the season with Indianapolis. Last year he played in 117 games for Norfolk, hitting .252 with 16 home runs and 55 RBIs.
THE FUTURE: According to Tigers officials, Perez left the Mud Hens to be with his son, who is having surgery. No timetable for his return has been set. Meanwhile Salazar joins the team after having been waived by Colorado Springs in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in early June. In 30 games with the Sky Sox, Salazar hit .234 with three homers and nine RBIs. Salazar isn't the hitter Perez is, but there is a bit of an upgrade defensively with Salazar. And here's hoping that everything goes well with that surgery.