Eyes had to be raised when after Oliver Perez, who so vehemently refused a demotion to the minor leagues, suddenly came up lame with patella tendinitis after a MRI the day before the Mets activated Jon Niese from the disabled list.
Major League Baseball reviewed the MRI because, shall we say, of the convenient timing of all this for the Mets.
Manager Jerry Manuel said Perez complained of knee pain Friday when he arrived at Citi Field, then had a MRI than revealed the tendinitis.
“He says he’s not able to pitch the way it is right now,’’ assistant general manager John Ricco said. “When a player tells you he’s injured and a doctor confirms that, from where I sit, that’s what the DL is for.’’
Maybe it is convenient, but the truth is Perez had surgery on the same knee in the offseason and this spring has had nothing on his fastball. To say it’s coincidental would be true; to say there is a link would also be true.
“I thought that with the velocity not ever getting to what I saw in 2008, that always concerns me to some degree,’’ Manuel said. “But the athlete tells you that he’s fine, he’s fine, doesn’t feel anything, you have to give him the benefit of the doubt.’’
Perez will rehab his knee at Port St. Lucie, but the team does not have a timetable for when he’ll throw again.
Perez is 0-3 with a 6.28 ERA in 11 appearances, seven of them starts, and has allowed 76 base runners in 38 2/3 innings.