Oliver Perez (0-3, 6.28 ERA) was pulled from the starting rotation after allowing 7 runs in just 3 1/3 inning against the Florida Marlins back on May 14th and when asked by upper management, Oliver refused a minor league assignment. With no other options manager Jerry Manuel was left with a wasted roster spot as Ollie (in the second year of his $36 million dollar contract) was banished to the bullpen as an over paid, underachieving mop up man.
As a starter he boasted a 5.94 ERA (22 ER, 33 1/3 IP) in 7 starts and did not fair any better in his 4 relief appearances ( 5 ER, 5 1/3 IP, 8.49 ERA). The uncomfortable situation was finally resolved on on June 5th, when he was placed on the DL with patella tendinitis in his right knee (retroactive to June 1st). As Ian Begley said in his post to ESPN New York (you can read the full post by clicking HERE)
The move ended an ugly standoff with the left-hander that has dragged on for weeks”.
On Tuesday afternoon in a tweet from Andy McCullough of the Star Ledger it was confirmed that Oliver Perez would be activated and join the team in Arizona:
Feel free to get mad: Ollie will be on the roster tomorrow. Ollie might displace Thole. Ollie says he just wants to help the team.”
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York later tweeted:
Justin Turner optioned for Ollie”
Now with Ollie set to return to the club, the question becomes, “what will be his role upon his return?” On his weekly spot with Mike Francesa, Manuel answered that question:
If he is activated more than likely be in the pen. He will probably be the first lefty, he won’t be the Feliciano but he will be a guy that we will use before that.”
It’s official, Perez will be a $36 million dollar lefty specialist. With his fastball still ranging from 86-88 MPH, how much help, if any will Perez bring to the club. Manuel seems as enthusiastic to have Perez back as the fans:
“Well, as a second lefty then that’s a minimal type role anyway, if it doesn’t work you’re able to overcome it because it’s early enough. I’m not looking for a situation. I’m not trying to find a situation. If it presents itself”
It has become apparent that with every struggling start by Hisanori Takahashi (7-4, 4.61 ERA) that the team is in desperate need of a 5th starter, and the fact that Jerry has dismissed the thought of putting Oliver in the rotation speaks volumes to how he feels about his return. It has been chronicled by Jay (A 10 Year Reunion: Bring Back Dotel) that the team could also use an arm for the pen but Oliver Perez is not the man for the job, in either situation.
Perez has failed in every role he has been in so far this season and with a 0.91 K/BB ratio I don’t see any indication on why that would change now. Why the Mets would want to travel down this path again has become mind boggling, but if you ask Jeff Wilpon, I’m sure he has $36 million reasons why he belongs…