Perez (24 years old, 24 career starts) joins a rotation that also includes Teheran (25, 107 starts), Matt Wisler (23, 25 starts), Aaron Blair (24, three starts) and Mike Foltynewicz (24, 17 starts). The Braves can keep all of those players under contract through at least the 2020 season.
Perez was erratic during three previous stints with the Braves, including three starts in April, but gets another chance to stick. If Perez falters, the Braves could call on one of their two touted prospects at Gwinnett, right-hander Tyrell Jenkins and Lucas Sims, to make his debut.
“There’s still a couple of guys down there that have done some nice stuff,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I think Jenkins has done a good job at times. There’s still some stuff that we need to iron out with him. But the pitching department, you’ve seen most of them who were close (to the majors).”
The Braves have yet to promote most of their highly rated prospects among position players. Rookie Mallex Smith is the regular center fielder for the big-league club, but infielders Ozzie Albies (Gwinnett) and Dansby Swanson (Double-A Mississippi) remain in the minors.
“We want to get younger,” Gonzalez said. “Now, where’s that (timetable)? I can’t give you a specific schedule on when those guys are going to be here. I’ve always believed that they’ll let us know when they’re ready. But you look at the stats and look at the reports of the player-development people, they’re making a lot of noise.”