Cleveland Indians’ pitcher Chris Perez is under investigation after authorities seized a large shipment of marijuana that was allegedly mailed to his rental home in Rocky River, Ohio. The closer is currently on the disabled list with an injured right shoulder, but he’s now in hot water for a drug outside of the current performing-enhancement phase that many ballplayers are currently dealing with.
Rocky River Police Chief Kelly Stillman described the bust during a press conference on Wednesday, one day after Perez’s home was searched by local police, US postal inspectors, and a local narcotics unit.
“It’s a very high profile sports figure in our community. In fairness to the Perez family and to the sports teams of Ohio and to the Rocky River Police Department, we’re doing this as we would in any other fashion,” Stillman said during the press conference. “We’re not doing anything different. We’re not trying to make this any bigger than it is. … If charges are forthcoming, I’ll be the first to let you folks know.”
Chris Perez’s investigation was also recognized by the Cleveland Indians, though manager Terry Francona failed to get into details about the situation.
“I can’t say anything. I’ve talked to C.P. … We are still looking into getting more information,” Francona said, via MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian and Zack Meisel. “Other than that, being respectful to the situation, there’s nothing to say. That’s kind of what it is.”
The Indians are currently off to a hot start in the 2013 season, but Perez hasn’t reached expectations as the team’s closer. In 17 appearances this year, Perez sports a 2-1 record with six saves and a 4.32 ERA, which is tied for the highest of his career.
The 27-year-old has blown two saves this season before going to the disabled list, including giving up two runs on May 18 to the Seattle Mariners before the Indians came back to win 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth.
His return to the field may be in jeopardy now that he’s under investigation for the alleged marijuana shipment, forcing the Indians to look for another closer as they move forward.
Do you believe the Chris Perez investigation will affect his return to the Cleveland Indians this season?
[Image via Keith Allison]