Tag Archives: oliver perez

CUT PEREZ

17 May

Oliver Perez refused to go to the minor leagues, landing his sorry left arm in the bullpen.

After another poor start against the Marlins last weekend, Perez turned down the opportunity to go to the minors to work on his delivery, mechanics, mentality, or whatever else is keeping him from pitching well.

We have seen pitchers who went to the minors to work on their craft, only to return and find success.

Remember Brett Myers of the Phillies. In 2008, after a 3-6 start through May, he agreed to go to the minors. He returned and posted a 7-2 record in the second half leading into September. He also won his first postseason start that year, going seven innings against the Brewers.

The fact that Perez is letting his ego stand in his way from contributing to this team is an absolute joke and slap in the face to his teammates and the fans of the New York Mets.

Perez now sits in the bullpen.

He cannot be used in a close game since he can’t throw strikes. He is a mop, used to absorb innings in a lost game. Not bad for $12 million.

If the Mets cut him, they pay most of his salary. Even if a team picks him up, the Mets are stuck with the bill for this year and next.

There is always the risk that a team in the division or league takes a chance on Perez and he lives up to his potential. He is still a young lefty who throws hard and is under the age of 30.

This is a chance the Mets have to take.

He is everything that is wrong with this team over the past few years. Perez’ refusal to go to the minors is an absolute joke and it is time to show him the door.

His tired act of endless ball 4s and tantrums in the dugout is over.

The day he stopped caring about the team is the day this teams stops giving him the ball.

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Can Mets Pitch Like 2006

12 Mar

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By Jim Walters

Entering the 2010 season, besides issues of health, the biggest concern for the New York Mets is their pitching staff.

Many baseball analysts already declared this as a major problem for New York, questioning what they can get out of the starting rotation. While Johan Santana is expected to have a strong year, although he is overcoming elbow surgery, the rest of the rotation is a mixed bag of question marks.

Back in 2006, New York ran away with the National League Eastern division, winning 97 games. They did it with a high-powered offense but the pitching wasn’t very solid.

Tom Glavine led the way that year, going 15-7, finally earning his contract. Steve Trachsel will always be remembered for his embarrassing performance in October, but he did go 15-8 as the Mets number two starter, pitching to a high era of 4.97.  Pedro Martinez went 9-8, Orlando Hernandez went 9-7 and John Maine was 6-5. Not very impressive.

The reason why this team was so successful, besides their high-powered offense, was their great bullpen.  Billy Wagner had a superb year with 40 saves, pitching to a record of 3-2.  Duaner Sanchez, 5-2, and Pedro Feliciano, 7-2, carried the Mets bullpen and kept games close for the offense. Darren Oliver, 4-1, stepped in many games that year when the starters failed. The bullpen also included Aaron Heilman, 4-5, and Chad Bradford, 4-2.

While the rotation was shaky, the bullpen was phenomenal. Yet as good as it was, it was certainly overworked, pitching 150 more innings in 2006 than it did in 2005. This workload hurt New York in the NLCS as the bullpen showed its wear and tear from a starting rotation that could not go deep into games.

It also didn’t help that in the closing weeks of the season, Martinez and Hernandez went down. Maine and Oliver Perez were asked to fill the void and they did, but it only added stress on to the pen.

Going into 2010, Santana needs to have a big year. The question that follows is this: can any other pitcher get to double-digits in wins? With a bullpen that has its own questions, the only promise that the Mets can give their fans going into the season is that this isn’t going to be easy.

Can the Mets Survive

11 Mar

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By Jim Walters

It is very possible that the Mets may play until May 15th without their star center fielder and shortstop. This makes up 37 games, almost one-fourth of their schedule. While they will play their first 16 of 22 games at home in Citi Field, can the line-up produce enough to keep up with a pitching staff that most expect to be shaky at best.

The probable line-up with Cora at short and Pagan in center will look like this:

Pagan, Castillo, Wright, Bay, Murphy, Francoeur, Cora, Barajas.

Not murders row by any sense of the imagination. This line-up will demand that the Mets  pitch well. With question marks making up the rotation from number two to five, as well as anyone’s guess for who will pitch the 8th inning, this team is in serious trouble with 24 days to go until Opening Day.

Perez the next Koufax

9 Mar

By Jim Walters

Two weeks ago, Hall of Fame great Sandy Koufax worked with a few of the Mets pitchers. Koufax, a long-time friend of Mets Owner, Fred Wilpon, often makes this annual trip to Port St. Lucie to pass on his wisdom.

This year, it felt as if this visit by Koufax was the only hope Oliver Perez had left.  Perez, coming off of a disastrous, injury-plagued year, is healthy and confident. Mets ownership is counting on Perez to win 15-games, but few in the game or the stands believe it.

When Koufax was interview by reporters, he made reference to his early career where he was as inconsistent as Perez. Then, at the age of 25, things changed and he turned into one of the game’s greats.

So, I looked up both Koufax and Perez’ numbers to see how similar they are.

Koufax  pitched to a record of 36-40 in his first six seasons with the Dodgers. In his first two seasons, he only started 28 games. Perez went 45-53 in his first  six season seasons, only pitching in 40 games in his first two seasons. While the numbers aren’t identical, they are similar enough to see how Koufax could see himself in Perez.

In Koufax’s seventh season, his career changed. The year was 1961 and he went 18-13.  In fact, from 1961- 1966, Koufax pitched to an incredible record of 129-47, including three seasons where he won more than 25 games.

The game was different then as pitchers went deep into games and often completed them. In the current version of this game, few pitchers in this game finish their own starts.

Back to Perez. In his 7th and 8th seasons, his record was 13-11. His 8th season was last year when he only started 14 games.

Few believe Perez is going to do what Koufax did forty years ago. While he is only 28 and healthy, Mets fans have heard enough about potential. Perez’ inconsistency overshadows those moments of brilliance. His 2006 October performance is a distant memory.

What makes Perez so unique is that his talent was never in question. It is his mental make-up that people worry about. Can the switch go off and Perez become the number two starter New York needs him to be? Or will Perez continue to draw jeers from the crowd and a pink slip for his General Manager and Manager?

Two weeks ago, Koufax looked at Perez and related to the young lefty’s struggles. Koufax walked in those shoes but seven seasons in, he figured it out and became an all-time great.  For Perez and the Mets, the hope of this franchise lands in this inconsistent starter who could lead the Mets to October or he can continue to be the face of a losing franchise.

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Taking You Out to the Ballgame

4 Mar

Welcome to CITI2SHEA.

The purpose of this blog is to follow the New York Mets and their attempt to grab back this city. After a heartbreaking 2009 season when the injury bug had more hits than the Mets offense, 2010 is a time for redemption.

The recent history of this team has been painful. Ever since Yadier Molina put a dagger in the Mets hearts that tragic October night in 2006, this franchise has been on a downward spiral. In 2007 and 2008, September collapses led to more heartache and more irrelevancy.

New York enters 2010 depending on starting pitching that is filled with “what ifs.” Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel will live and die with Oliver Perez, John Maine and Mike Pelfrey. Why Minaya didn’t bring in a mediocre starter to eat innings will only seal his death sentence this summer.

If all breaks right, New York will have a chance. Yet recent history shows that life in Shea will likely repeat itself in Citi. It’s March so we hope they can pitch. One month until April when we realize they really can’t.