Oliver Perez Takes Another Step Forward

Oliver Perez took a big step forward in his rehab today and seems to be nearing a return which could have him back by early July.

According to AP, Perez who has been on the disabled list since May 7, threw 48 pitches in three shutout innings of an extended spring training game Thursday at the Mets’ rehab facility. He gave up three hits and one walk, and struck out five in the pain-free performance that came after a recent setback.

“I felt really good,” said Perez, whose fastball was clocked in the low 90s. “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 had been struggling since spring training when he admitted he was behind in building arm strength because of long layoffs during his time with Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. He said his arm is now strong, and he just needs to get the rest of his body to catch up.

“I have to continue getting stronger with my knee because my arm is good,” Perez said. “I am starting to get stronger because right now I can do more workouts with my legs, and I am happy for that. I have to go and show I can be the pitcher I can be. My arm is really strong. I just have to keep working to get more consistent with my body and get ready for the season.”

Rehab coordinator Guy Conti said Perez is now on a five-day cycle. He will pitch again Tuesday, though it is uncertain whether that will come in another extended spring training game or in a minor league appearance.

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