Armed and Ready
If Oliver Perez doesn’t get things together quickly, there is an able and willing arm waiting down in triple-A: Tony Armas, Jr.
Armas is only 3-5, but the record is deceiving. He has made seven consecutive “quality” starts, and has not allowed more than three runs in any of his 12 starts this season. In those dozen games, he has averaged over six innings per outing, and posted a svelte 2.29 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. These numbers are even more impressive when you consider he is tallying them in the PCL, a notorious “hitter’s league”.
“I’ve been working on a lot of the mental stuff,” Armas said. “Throwing inside, pitch selection, throwing different pitches in different locations. It’s building up a lot of confidence.”
In 74 IP, Armas has walked 15, allowed 59 hits, and struck out 59. I keep looking at the stats trying to find a reason not to promote him, and not finding it.
Armas is nowhere near the raw-skilled talent he was six years ago, when he hummed in the mid-90s and overpowered Major League hitters. However, he may have finally learned how to pitch. Combine his newfound guile with his competitiveness (which was never an issue), and perhaps the Mets have a valid comeback guy in the mold of Darren Oliver or (a healthy) Orlando Hernandez.