Don’t expect much change from Mets, Perez

PEREZ: Holding fast.

I was listening to the radio this morning on the way home from the auto body shop – had a little problem this weekend – and the topic was how to fix the Mets.

I could have driven to Ohio and back and not touched on all the issues, but the synopsis was to cut loose Gary Matthews, Fernando Tatis and Oliver Perez – the dead wood they were called – and replace them with warm, eager minor league bodies.

Yup, that will do it.

“It will get the players’ attention,’’ was the conclusion. The Mets are a .500 club for a lot of reasons, the least of which are Matthews and Tatis, who, although hardly productive, don’t play that much to make an impact either way.

There are three significant reasons for the Mets’ mediocrity: the lack of consistent offense production from the stars, notably Jose Reyes, Jason Bay and David Wright in the first part of the season; poor overall starting pitching with the exception of the team’s two successful home stands; and a spotty bullpen, being part performance, part strain and part manager Jerry Manuel’s faulty use and over use.

Translation: It’s a group problem, so don’t make Matthews and Tatis the scapegoats.

Of the regular position players, you know none of them will be cut loose during the season, so the area of immediate change has to be with the pitching.

You want to cut Matthews and Tatis? Go ahead, but you also have to do the same thing with Perez and John Maine if the latter doesn’t produce coming off the disabled list.

For all the angst over Perez, we must remember that regardless of how selfish he is being, he’s only exercising his contractual rights. We must also remember that during the winter when the Mets had a chance to improve their pitching, they chose to play a pat hand.

Perez isn’t the entire problem, but he personifies it in that he’s all about unfulfilled expectations.

The Perez decision is currently haunting them and will only be exorcised if the Mets are willing to eat the remainder of the $20 million or so on Perez’s contract. Management has shown no inclination of acting so boldly.

I hate to say it, but I really don’t believe the pieces are there to swing a blockbuster deal for pitching, and don’t forget there are three holes and it is only a matter of time before Hisanori Takahashi and R.A. Dickey come back to earth. Takahashi showed signs of it last night.

The Mets are still three games out of first place with three-quarters of the season remaining, so it is premature to panic. It isn’t however, too early to draw some conclusions.

The pitching needs to stabilize, with the onus on Maine when he comes back. Perez, we must assume, if he isn’t willing to go to the minors, is a lost cause. They aren’t going to make Jenrry Mejia a starter, so the help must come from within.

The stars of this team, Reyes, Wright and Bay, must do more to carry this team. Reyes is finally doing Reyes-like things, but Wright and Bay must do more. Go ahead, chalk up four more wins for Johan Santana if he had even modest run support.

It isn’t a bright picture, because the improvement doesn’t appear to be coming from the outside. So unless they morph into productive players, the rest of the season will be like what we’ve seen.

22 thoughts on “Don’t expect much change from Mets, Perez

  1. i have to agree. the 3 amigos are useless at this point. Yes mathews has higher clutch % but all the other % are terrible and his fielding is mediocre.
    yes its time to get 3 young bodies.. at least with 3 young guys you know its a work in progress like main and pelfrey.

  2. SteveC (1): I’d make the changes, too, but the point of the column was to illustrate that even with cutting loose Matthews, Tatis and Perez, it might not mean that much in terms of overall team performance.

    I think I’d say goodbye to Maine if he’s not productive when he returns. I’l have a longer leash with him because it is injury related. Perez’s leash has to be shortened because of his attitude.-JD

  3. 2.) Oh no doubt it may not increase the performance but ya never know.. we may get another Ike 😉
    Perez has shown he cant change nor wants to .. Maine has always given it his best effort. His story truly is tragic.

  4. i would cut all of them.

    but matthews is the backup cf. do we have anyone in the minors who could do that?

    for this team, it has been proven that the energy of the young guys has contributed positively to our winning.

    these guys add nothing.

    this is the second or third year with tatis as not adding much.

    ollie is just dead, but we will not eat the contract.

    the question is what is in the minors that can step in and help? I am not sure what we have. tejada hasnt hit well down there and jose is starting to play.

  5. well theorhetically Pagan isn the mackup CF for beltran.. when he gets back he can take another position.

  6. SteveC (5): According to WFAN, Beltran is running at 80 percent, which means he’s still not ready. When he’ll ready is conjecture at this point. With not good options on the minor league level for center field – F-Mart is injured – Matthews will hang around until Beltran is ready.-JD

  7. dave (4): Tatis’ best year was his first with the Mets. He’s been riding that because they haven’t found anybody better from the major league reject pile, or anybody they have confidence in on the minor league level to promote. Their thinking on most of their young guys is they’d rather they play in the minors than sit in the majors. Ike Davis was the exception because he was going to play the moment he got here.-JD

  8. NOTE: There are conflicting reports on whether the Mets are interested in Dontrelle Willis, who was DFA by Detroit. Willis will be a FA after this season.-JD

  9. John(7) you mean there is no one at the minor league level who can play a few positions and hit?


  10. I’m tired of Ollie and GMJ. I believe Jesus Feliciano can give them a back up in CF, and I would bet there are scrap heap guys ala Cory Sullivan available if they dig deep enough. I would keep Tatis…he is still valuable off the bench as a pinch hitter (1.214 OPS,) and provides some pop off the bench. It wasn’t his fault that Manuel was stupid enough to bat him cleanup this weekend.

  11. NOTE: Jesus Feliciano is hitting .400 at Class AAA Buffalo. The scouting report on him is he’s mostly a singles/doubles hitter, with minimal power and not having the speed needed to play center field on a regular basis.-JD

  12. JD: I missed the part of the lecture that discussed the Mets needing him to play CF on a regular basis.

  13. SteveO (12): That was the scouting report. It does mean he could play CF on a limited basis – spell Pagan for a game – and not hurt the team. He probably couldn’t do any worse than Gary Matthews.-JD

  14. Gammons is saying that Boras approached the Mets about putting Ollie on the DL and sending the troubled lefty to a sports psychologist — but that Jeffie declined.

    Can this marriage (Boras & Jeffie) be saved?

  15. i think sitting pagan would bruise his ego. he has really grown in that position..

  16. (15) I’d like to see Beltran come back and Pagan move to RF in place of Frenchy.

  17. i think we all would like to see a healthy Beltran back. If that’s possible.

  18. FYI: After playing left field most of the season, Jesus Feliciano will make his fourth start of the year in center for Class AAA Buffalo. Talked to somebody who sees a lot of him and the report is he doesn’t have the range to play center or the arm to play right, but can hit. … There are two schools of thought here. The first is to see if Feliciano can play center so they could cut loose Matthews. The second is they could be showcasing Feliciano for a trade later.-JD

  19. Tiffany (16): Pagan is playing too well to sit. But, Francoeur is starting to hit again. Could be an interesting dilemma, but one the Mets won’t need to worry about until at least July.-JD