The Indians announced Sunday that Perez will miss four to six weeks with a strained left oblique muscle. Acta, Perez and head trainer Lonnie Soloff are optimistic that he'll return in time to open the season.
If not, Acta has a solution.
"Vinnie Pestano will close if Chris is not ready," said Acta. "He's a natural guy to go to."'
Perez strained his oblique in his first bullpen session Thursday. He stopped throwing after 25 to 30 pitches because of a pain in his left side.
"His body was clearly not ready for the intensity of that bullpen session," said Soloff.
Pestano's numbers last season were better than Perez's and he was a closer in the minors. So it's really, really hard to argue that the Indians will be worse off in the ninth inning without Perez. Of course, they might be worse in the eighth without Pestano.