Oliver Perez, on the DL since May 7, threw three shutout innings in an extended spring training game in Port St. Lucie. He gave up three hits and one walk with five strikeouts and reported no pain.
“I felt really good,” Perez said. “I’m a little tired because it’s hot, but I feel strong. I threw three innings, and I was using all my pitches. I used my slider, backdoor, in good situations, behind the count, my change-up, too. I’m happy I had good command, and I was throwing a lot of strikes.”
Perez will throw again Tuesday.
While the news is encouraging, it must be tempered with the fact he’s basically starting over and will need at least three more games before he’s ready. That puts his return in early July at best.
Never mind the results, the important thing is he felt no discomfort in his knee.
In other injury news: John Maine threw in a simulated game and still feels a pinch in his shoulder. … Angel Pagan could be back in New York within two weeks. … Billy Wagner could face hitters by the first week in July.
Tonight’s game with the Pirates has been rained out, and despite this being their last trip to Pittsburgh, there will not be a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon.
That means a rushed trip to Pittsburgh in August or September when the Mets will need the day off. It’s just as well they aren’t playing as they need a breather. This is a bruised and battered team and the bullpen needs a rest.
Around the Horn ….
-Tom Glavine was released by the Braves which begs the obvious: Would you take him back to add some depth to the rotation which still has some issues. Glavine underwent elbow and shoulder surgery in the offseason, but said he’s ready and will pitch again this season.
-Assistant GM John Ricco said Jose Reyes experienced pain again in his calf during an extended spring training game today and will return to New York for additional tests. Translation: He won’t be back any time soon. I can’t see him back for the Philadelphia series.
-Manager Jerry Manuel said Gary Sheffield will not play during tomorrow. He’s still nursing his leg. He didn’t run well at all the other night.
-Manuel also said JJ Putz will move to the seventh inning. Hardly earthshattering news.
-Ryan Church played in an extended spring training game and says he’s feeling better. He might be ready to be activated for the Phillies series.
-Oliver Perez threw off flat ground today but there’s no timetable for his return.
The new home of the Mets.
Finally, the doors to Citi Field are open for business. A new era in New York baseball history begins tonight with the Mets and Padres in Queens.
From first, second and third glances, this is a beautiful ballpark. We’re all trying to see how it plays, but we won’t know until the weather gets warmer. Plenty of quirks, nooks and crannies in the outfield for some weird bounces meaning you can expect a lot of triples and maybe and inside-the-parker or two for Jose Reyes.
This is supposed to be a pitcher’s park, but the overhang in right could be generous to Carloses Delgado and Beltran.
It should be a busy night. I’ll live blog, of course, but until game time if you want to note your favorite Opening Day memories, this is the place to do it.
Here’s the line-up:
J Reyes SS
D Murphy LF
D Wright 3B
C Delgado 1B
C Beltran CF
R Church RF
B Schneider C
L Castillo 2B
M Pelfrey P
* Mike Pelfrey’s strained left leg has improved enough to where he’ll start Saturday against Washington. Pelfrey threw in the BP today and told reporters: “I felt it a little bit, but it’s a lot better. If it was the regular season and I had to pitch today, I would’ve.”
* Carlos Delgado got six hits in his first seven at-bats playing for Puerto Rico in the WBC.
* Jon Niese gave up a hit and a walk in four scoreless innings in a minor league game today. Niese is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation.
* Outfielder Angel Pagan underwent arthroscopic surgery in New York to remove a bone spur from his right elbow and could be out as long as nine weeks. Pagan didn’t play last year after May 12 after injuring his shoulder when he fell into the stands in Los Angeles.
SANTANA: You worried?
I might have sipped the Kool-Aid upon hearing the news Johan Santana had a painfree bullpen session yesterday and had his MRI trip to New York canceled.
While painfree is positive news, the monster storm that ripped the Northeast had to figure into Santana’s travel plans. He wasn’t going to get out today anyway. Why have him sit around an airport for hours?
The fact is, however, if his elbow was sore enough for a MRI before the bullpen, then that’s a concern. Once the weather clears, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s re-examined. This is a guy you don’t want to take chances with. The Mets need to be safe with him.
Let’s have a show of hands if you’re concerned about Santana or if you believe all is well.