OLIVER PEREZ: The minors could help.
After all but agreeing to take a minor league assignment following Saturday’s loss, Oliver Perez’s right knee was conveniently wrapped in ice yesterday afternoon. He said it has been bothering him all year, which begs the question: Why didn’t the Mets say something earlier?
Perez might take a face-saving trip to the DL or might be used in relief sometime this week. As of now, he won’t make Friday’s start against Pittsburgh at Citi Field.
Perez can veto any demotion to the minor leagues because of his service time, which would make him incredibly selfish. If he does it would be interesting to see how many “leaders” in the Mets’ clubhouse would tell him that’s the thing for him to do.
I’d say none. Not even Johan Santana would suggest to him the minors is the way to go to fix his mechanics and attitude. The players will say it is beyond their responsibilities to tell a teammate to go to the minor leagues even if staying is the best interest of the team.
There’s something incredibly wrong with Perez that has nothing to do with his knee. And, the Mets can’t waste any more major league innings trying to figure it out.
Today’s game at Philly has been rained out, which gives us a moment to reflect on the train wreck that is Oliver Perez.
“I’m not doing anything to help the team,” said an admittedly embarrassed Perez yesterday.
Because of Perez’s length of service (it doesn’t have to be good service) he can refuse the minor league assignment that is in his and the Mets’ best interest. Perez gave no indication he would do so, which is a good sign.
It’s better he go to the minors than hang around as a long man because he won’t get regular work in that capacity. The Mets gave Perez Saturday’s start because of his success against the Phillies, but it didn’t pan out.
It’s time to start over with Perez.
The sluggish Mets will try to get things going tonight at Philly, with Mike Pelfrey going against Chan Ho Park. Pelfrey (2-0, 6.32 ERA) is 1-2 in four career starts against the Phillies. He is coming off a good start – two runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Nationals.
PELFREY: Mets need good start to get rolling.
However, the Phillies aren’t the Nationals.
Even though they aren’t playing well, the Mets are talking about the match-up with the Phillies as a good thing, saying the NL East confrontation could give them a spark. That’s disconcerting to me because if they need a rivarly to get them going there’s something lacking.
Carlos Delgado (hip) and Luis Castillo (back) are out of the line-up, an indication their injuries are more serious than originally speculated. Manager Jerry Manuel even suggested the DL a possibility for Delgado.
Here’s the line-up:
Jose Reyes, SS
Alex Cora, 2B
Daniel Murphy, LF
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Ryan Church, RF
Fernando Tatis, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Mike Pelfrey, P
David Wright made an interesting comment the other day when he said: “We have to try to match the intensity we have when we play the Phillies when we play the rest of the National League.”
Wright wasn’t throwing his teammates under the bus as much as he was making a statement of fact – the Mets don’t get up for everybody. And, I don’t want to hear about it being a long season and you can’t be motivated all the time.
There is something lacking with the Mets and their best player recognizes it. They might come out and play inspired ball this weekend, but that’s not enough. Far too often they seem to be going through the motions. They did against the Marlins. They did against the Cardinals. They do against a lot of teams.
And, that’s something they need to snap out of or it’s going to be a long summer.
“It won’t be long before the hits will start dropping in,” said David Wright after his miserable Wednesday afternoon in which he was called out twice on strikes.
Mechanically, Wright is off his game. He’s uppercutting his swing. He’s flatfooted at times. He doesn’t consistently take the ball to right field, which is when he’s at his best.
“I’ve been struggling,” Wright admits. “I have to start playing better.”
Talk radio is buzzing with those that want Wright out of here, but let’s not be stupid about things. The Mets aren’t going to trade him now or this winter. This is slump he’ll have to work his way out of, something he’s always done in the past and will again.
If the Mets weren’t playing the Phillies this weekend, I’d be tempted to sit him for a game to clear his head. But with this stretch against Philly and Atlanta, I don’t see Jerry Manuel sitting down his third baseman. The earliest he’d sit would be against Pittsburgh during the next homestand.
So, what to do?
The Mets pretty much have to stick with Wright until then. Ask yourself this: Who gives the Mets the better chance? Wright catching his form or going to the bench?
You’ll see Wright play this weekend in Philly and maybe he’ll get it going against the Phillies hapless rotation.