Oliver Perez Blames Knee Pain, Manuel Unconvinced

An article by posted on May 3, 2009

Jerry Manuel met with Oliver Perez today and although nothing was resolved officially it certainly looks like Perez has temporarily lost his spot in the rotation. ESPN writes,

Perez and Manuel spoke in a closed-door meeting before Sunday’s game against the Phillies was rained out. Manuel appeared like a manager leaning toward skipping Perez when asked the advantageous would be of giving the lefty another turn.

“I don’t know at this point whether or not that’s advantageous for us or for him,” Manuel said. “He’s just struggling at this point.”

The question now comes down to sending him to the minors or to the bullpen.

And while yesterday a trip to the minors sounded like a good idea, he was  singing a different tune today after no doubt getting an earful from Scott Boras or Donald Fehr. The NY Post writes,

Perez told reporters after Saturday’s disaster that he would be willing to accept a trip to the minors to work out his problems, but he backtracked today.

When asked if he would still be willing to go to the minors, Perez said, “I don’t know nothing.”

Pressed again with the same question, Perez said, “I don’t know. I can’t say that.”

Asked why he had appeared to change his mind overnight, Perez said: “I was frustrated. Every pitcher can say that, because that was a tough day for me and I can say anything. Today, I feel a little more relaxed.”

A little more relaxed my ass… For $36 million dollars he should be making us a little more relaxed.

Finally, if you think you heard it all check this out, apparently Oliver Perez has pain in his knee and he’s been pitching with it all season long or so he says. The Star-Ledger writes,

Suddenly, Perez also had an unspecified right knee injury. He appeared to feel some discomfort while running out a single in the second inning Saturday. But when asked if Perez’s knee was an issue before Saturday, Manuel said, “I can’t say that it was.” Perez said otherwise.

“The knee has been bothering me all season,” he said. “I don’t feel good sometimes in my knee.”

A trip to the disabled list, obviously, would give Perez time to try to work out his issues without having to go to the bullpen or the minors. But Manuel said the D.L. has not been discussed as a potential option. It doesn’t seem like Manuel is buying into the knee pain story.

Perez has never mentioned it to anybody all season or met with any of the trainers or sought medical attention for it. The problem suddenly sprouted this afternoon along with his change of heart on going to the minors to get his head and mechanics straightened out.

This story is beginning to get ugly and may get even worse before it gets better. I got a bad feeling about this.

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