Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 2, 2008
BASEBALL: Verrry Disappointing

Oliver Perez is really not making himself a compelling case for a big contract in the offseason.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 10:46 PM | Baseball 2008 | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

This is why you cant blame Randolph for the Mets mediocrity; the execrable performances of Delgado and Oliver Perez are not a matter of pushing the wrong tactical buttons. The Mets are an old team with a weak bench when the starters predictably break down. I still think they've got a good shot at the division because of their considerable run prevention skills. But the Santana signing led a lot of folks, sabermetricians included, to buy into the hype and overlook the age/depth problems on offense.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at June 3, 2008 1:30 AM

I'm not sure you can let Randolph off the hook so easily for Perez. The manager has to have some responsibility for a pitcher who is young, talented, healthy and not getting the job done.

Delgado is another story; you can't manage away age. Although at a minimum he probably needs to be platooned at this juncture.

Posted by: The Crank at June 3, 2008 1:39 AM


And I took a gamble and brought up Perez for Cliff Lee on my fantasy team because he has two starts this week.


Posted by: RW at June 3, 2008 6:13 AM

My middle son is a pitcher in school, so I can tell you: the second hardest job in baseball (Ted to the contrary) is pitching a baseball. The hardest: being the dad of the pitcher. He got shelled yesterday when an ump's strikezone was from the waist to the ankles, and he hit a kid who was standing over the plate. Hit him in the strikezone. But I digress....

The point is Ollie Perez has great stuff, meaning his pitches move. Like a knuckler at high velocity. Meaning he will always be inconsistent. Can't help it. History is littered with the detritus of pitchers who couldn't consistently throw strikes. What Perez needs to do is learn less from Peterson, and more from Spahn and Koufax: cut back on the velocity a bit; throw strikes on the edges of the plate, and learn how to vary speeds more than movement. Sounds like Pelfrey may have learned that a bit. Pitchers who throw with movement are plentiful. Pitchers who throw strikes are wealthy.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at June 3, 2008 10:08 AM

Perez is still relatively young and talented but he's no rookie, and one thing he has demonstrated long before he came to the Mets is that he is consistently inconsistent in his release point, control, and results. That is who he was when the Mets acquired him, and that is who he is now. If anything you've got to credit Randolph for resurrecting the guys effectiveness and courageously giving him a postseason shot two years back. You are correct however that he needs to summon similar courage now and cut back on Delgado's playing time significantly, at least with a right handed caddy.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at June 3, 2008 1:19 PM

Given Perez's lack of mental toughness over his career it is puzzling that Boras was hell bent on taking him into the walk year. He is crumbling under the glare, and it will take a stellar second half to garner a long term deal.

Posted by: abe at June 3, 2008 2:36 PM

Granted I don't really see him pitch that much and don't have much of a rooting interest in what his results are (and I would not want him on the Sox) so I don't have a great perspective on his career and abilities (or lack thereof). However, 27 year-old lefties with relatively high K rates and low injury rates tend to have long employment careers in MLB even if the results are less than glorious. That guy is getting a contract and it ain't going to be for chump change.

Posted by: jim at June 3, 2008 3:17 PM

No argument that Perez will not be hard up for work, but scorning an offer without listening is foolish when your client is as mentally weak and inconsistent as OP. There's not a lot of pitchers under contract that fail to get out of the first. At this rate he'll be out of the rotation by the break. Likely he left significant money and security on the table.

Posted by: abe at June 3, 2008 10:16 PM

Eric Gagne gets paid $10 million/year. Enough said.

There are owners and GMs who are so stupid, desperate and rolling around in cash that a great agent can sucker them into a wicked deal. There is no way, short of injury, he left money on the table. He is staring at a multi-year 8 figure contract in the off-season. Guarantee it.

Posted by: jim at June 4, 2008 11:52 AM

Time will tell. EG is not a fitting analogy. He had value with Texas and LA, collapsed in Boston. Brewers spent bucks, with a short term, banking on him reverting to form. Perez is pitching in form. Seven good innings one night, can't get out of the first the next. Great season in Pitt, sent down the next. He will get offers, but if he holds this level through out the season he absolutely left money on the table. Give the age of the rotation and the fact that Omar wanted to start talks prior to the Santana trade he could have hit 50m+ for 4 seasons. We shall see, here's to him proving Boras right and winning 20.

Posted by: abe at June 4, 2008 8:46 PM

Abe, I think you're being a bit hard on Perez, although it was stunning to watch my inept Giants knock him out of the first inning. But "mentally weak"? C'mon man he has lousy control not lousy character. Good control is as much of a skill as throwing hard is, and although you can improve upon your control sometimes with sustained effort it is more common to see pitchers never "find it" no matter how hard they try. In Perez' case his performance history is mixed, ranging from extremely dominant to extremely lousy. Nonetheless all the peripherals are there to make him a better bet than Claudio Varas or Nelson Figueroa going forward, and that's really the only question worth asking...can he be replaced easily.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at June 4, 2008 11:19 PM

You may be right, Seth. I was not questioning his character per se, more focus and resolve. In these early exits it seems he is raising the white flag and waiting for Willie once he decides it is not his day. Early exits deliver an extra burn after Glavine's sickening last start in 2007.

Posted by: abe at June 5, 2008 12:21 PM
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