Demote Oliver Perez

May 10, 2010

In Sunday’s  loss to the Giants, Oliver Perez once again struggled to find the strike zone and was pulled in the fourth inning.  The schizophrenic walked seven of the 26 batters he faced and threw 98 pitches while surrendering three earned runs in just 3.1 innings.   It was the fourth time in just six starts this season that Oliver Perez could not complete six innings of work. 

While his 4.54 ERA is still somewhat respectable, the 25 walks in 30 innings is downright atrocious.  Minimizing runs scored is great, but if a pitcher is not able to go deep into games, the bullpen becomes taxed as a result.  Jerry Manuel has already overworked his overachieving relief corp, and he doesn’t need more reasons to throw Nieve and Feliciano out there every single game. 

When asked about Oliver Perez and his future as a starting pitcher for the Mets, Jerry Manuel said, “at this time I don’t see any changes coming.”

However, when asked if Perez could work out his issues pitching in the bullpen, Manuel said, “I don’t know, I really don’t know.  The way we are geared right now, to say you’re gonna go there and work on something it kind of shackles us in a sense, in trying to get that done and win games – and we are here to win games.”

At 17-14, the Mets have been respectable and appear to be a team that can fight for the Wild Card and dare I say NL East title. However, it makes competing that much more difficult when you have a pitcher who every fifth day is so unpredictable.  Every pitcher is going to have his off days.  Heck, we all saw the ace Johan Santana get bombed in Philadelphia.  But with Ollie it just feels completely different and when he doesn’t have his stuff working Perez has no ability to compete and give his team a chance to win. 

Just as Oliver Perez gave Jerry no choice but to remove him from the game on Sunday, the lefty also should have given the Mets brass no other option than to remove him from the rotation.  Let him go to Buffalo and work on his stuff before giving him another opportunity to put on the varsity uniform.   While the Mets may no be the most prestigious franchise in baseball, the right to wear the orange and blue should be earned, and despite the hefty contract owed to the lefty, Perez should have to pay his dues. 

In 90 starts in his career for the Mets, Oliver has just 29 wins and has walked 284 batters.  I’d much rather watch a Triple-A youngster get rocked throwing strikes than have to guess when Oliver Perez will find his control.   The Yankees can afford to let Javier Vazquez find his way at the Major League level.  The Mets frankly, cannot risk Oliver Perez costing them any more games.

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