Stop beating on Oliver Perez, everybody.
He’s pitched terribly this year, for sure, but the next guy who smugly explains away his struggles to a “10-cent head” is gonna get it. For one thing, most jocks are thick, and being a little slow out there is a virtue sometimes, if you insist on a literal interpretation of the remark. But I think there’s more to it than that. A physical injury, particularly a non-deblilitating but bothersome one such as tendonitis, is a perfectly reasonable explanation (not to mention consistent with Dan Warthen‘s complaint that Perez showed up out of shape this year) if only Ollie were offered the same benefit of the doubt as, for example, a teammate who also appears to struggle with control and confidence and makes problems for the bullpen by failing to last too deep into games.
No, I’m not encoraging the cheap shots extend to John Maine, just pointing out that what Perez needs now is rest and the same support his teammates should expect. There is plenty more to worry about.
Like, for instance, his replacement in the rotation for now, Jonathon Niese, recalled upon Ollie’s assignment to the DL. Still wearing No. 49, Niese gave the Mets a few good outings, and a few not-so-good ones, late last season.It appears Niese will last only until the organization thinks Tim Redding is ready. In case you forgot, Redding was wearing No. 44 when a string of bad starts indicated a ten-cent head injury in St. Lucie this spring.
In other news, Casey Fossum refused a demotion to Buffalo and signed instead with the Yankees. Loser.
The good news is that Mike Pelfrey feels his bout with tendonitis is behind him. The bad news is that it cost the Mets two pitchers to cover his one missed start.
Yesterday word came that sidearming Rule 5 draftee Darren O’Day was claimed by the Texas Rangers, wholike the Mets are now required to keep him on their roster all year or — like the Mets — risk losing him on a waiver claim. O’Day was designated when the Mets recalled Nelson Figueroa take Pelfrey’s start Sunday.
Figgy was subsequently designated following his start in favor of Casey Fossum — and with the gruesome twosome of Perez and Maine following him in the rotation, avialable long relief was handy. Figueroa like O’Day was subject to waivers but went unclaimed. Nevertheless he refused a return engagement with Buffalo and declared free agency, today’s Daily News reported.
All this — Maine and Perez’s awful starts in St. Louis this week included — may eventually hasten the arrival of Freddy Garcia, who started his first game this week in Buffalo.
So, nice effort by Nelson Figueroa today but it didn’t amount to much as bad luck and bad timing doomed the Mets offense. And don’t let any nimrod tell you a failure to bunt Fernando Tatis had much of anything to do with it (I can’t believe those complaining watched even a minute of Met ball this year). I want Tatis smashing balls off the fence, that’s what he’s there for.
Anyhow, Figueroa is headed back to the minors and in his place will be Casey Fossum, a lefthander off to a good start in Buffalo, who will provide bullpen depth until Mike Pelfrey‘s next turn or we learn the fate of Darren O’Day.
Fossom, should he maintain his digits from spring trianing will be the first Met to wear No. 47 sinceTom Glavine walked off the mound having kicked the final grains dirt onto the 2007 Mets’ grave. How not devastating.