Can Oliver Perez Be Salvaged As A Situational Lefty?

In a series of tweets, Andy Martino of the Daily News revealed that a Mets insider is suggesting that the team should give embattled starting pitcher, Oliver Perez, a shot at filling a situational lefty role in the bullpen next season.

Not saying he’ll succeed, but there’s absolutely no reason not to bring Oliver Perez to ST as a situational lefty, and see what happens.

I also know this: at least some Mets decision-makers feel the same way.

One team insider: “I’d like to see what he can do in left-on-left situations. You’re paying him anyway; why not give it a shot?”

Perez is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $12 million in 2011, and it would make sense that the organization could try him in a LOOGY role before completely cutting bait with him.

Last night, Oliver Perez tossed four scoreless innings in his first start this offseason with Culiacan in the Mexican Winter League. He allowed three hits, while striking out four and walking two. With the start he lowered his ERA from 9.00 to 5.00.

Last season right handed batters torched Perez for a .317 batting average and a .435 on-base, and while he held left handed batters to just a .217 batting average, he walked so many that it still led to a .411 on-base.

Additionally, Perez has a higher walk rate against left handed hitters than right handed hitters, and his HR/9 rate is higher as well.

These numbers would suggest to me that even as a situational lefty, Perez would do more harm than good in the bullpen. Of course, I’m not the one making the decision, but we’ll have to see how this all plays out in the end.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone.