Dan Warthen Sounds The Alarm On Oliver Perez

An article by posted on March 26, 2009

Ben Shpigel of the NY Times reveals the mounting concern over the Mets’ $36 million dollar man, Oliver Perez.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen had some scathing remarks after seeing Oliver Perez fail to make it out of the fourth inning yesterday in a 10-6 loss to the Tigers.

The pitching coach Dan Warthen called him “out of shape” on Wednesday after Perez failed to get through the fourth inning of the Mets’ 10-6 loss to the Detroit Tigers. The assessment was more alarming than the performance.

Warthen said Perez, who is listed at 205 pounds, had gained weight since arriving in Florida six weeks ago, and he indicated that participating for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic had damaged Pérez’s preparation for the regular season.

All I heard yesterday was the usual rhetoric “it’s only spring” and “hell be ready” from the fan base, but wouldn’t the pitching coach be the true authority on the matter?

When Manager Jerry Manuel pulled Perez from the game on Wednesday, with two outs in the fourth, he had walked six, allowed six runs, including a three-run homer to Plácido Polanco, and had thrown a staggering 92 pitches.

“My worries have come to fruition,” Warthen said, “I think he’s not in shape. the arm is out of shape. He needs to start pushing himself a little more.”

The Mets’ uncertainty about Perez comes at a particularly poor time given John Maine’s struggles. Maine is scheduled to start Thursday against St. Louis, and the Mets cannot afford to have two linchpin starters emerging as problems 10 days before the season starts.

I said it before and I’ll say it again, the Mets rotation is not the slam dunk so many are making it out to be.

The rotation has more than its fair share of concerns even if you were to ignore the critical assessment of Perez by Warthen. The way that Maine’s comeback from shoulder surgery is being downplayed by the Mets is a bit worrisome. Tim Redding, who was originally pegged for the number five spot is already on the DL because of his own off season surgery complications. Pelfrey is being asked to shoulder a big load as the team’s number two starter, but I think Pelf will be fine.

Hopefully, Perez will take this criticism seriously enough to get his act together and earn that big fat contract he held us over a barrel for.

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