The Mets are playing the Oliver Perez saga down to the very end.
In holding to their word they’d give Perez a chance to make it as a starter, GM Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins made the trip Tuesday to watch Perez get whipped by Houston, giving up three runs in three innings in what would be his last start with the Mets.
Alderson confirmed that today, saying Perez’s slim chance of sticking with the team was now out of the bullpen.
Kudos to Collins for sticking to his word making the two-hour bus ride to Kissimmee to watch Perez when the easy thing to do was let pitching coach Dan Warthen scout the long-shot for him. It will go a long way toward Collins gaining credibility with his new team.
Perez, who once threw 95 mph. consistently, topped out at 88 yesterday. That’s not going to cut it as a starter, and with his lack of command, it won’t help him out of the pen, either. And, there are no signs of him regaining the velocity or getting the command he never had.
A discouraged Perez told reporters: “I feel good because I’ve been doing everything I can. I can’t do any more, and you have to understand that baseball is like this.’’
Soon, the inevitable will occur and the Mets will release Perez and painfully swallow the $12 million due him. That decision won’t create the euphoria from Mets fans that it would have last year, or even during the off-season.
I’m not buying that holding onto Perez this long has hurting ticket sales. Perez was simply a symbol of what has gone wrong with this franchise, not the entire explanation.