Oliver Perez in the Bullpen


So it’s official: Oliver Perez will be “working out his issues” in the bullpen.

40-year-old rookie Ken Takahashi will take Perez’s spot in the starting rotation, at least for this Friday evening’s game.

Though Takahashi was a starter in Japan last year, he was conditioned as a short reliever in spring training this year and pitched 11 innings through 6 games in AAA this year. I imagine he can throw 50, maybe 60 pitches. He did throw 55 pitches in a game with Buffalo earlier this season. Under perfect circumstances, that could get him through the fifth inning.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel says he will use Oliver Perez in both long-relief / mopup situations and in critical points of a close game. He cited Jon Garland (as a 21-year-old in 2001) and James Baldwin (1998) as previous examples of struggling starters he had sent to the bullpen in the past to work things out.

There was no official word on whether Nelson Figueroa, Dillon Gee, Jonathan Niese, Brandon Knight, or Pedro Martinez were considered.

I refuse to pass judgment or state an opinion on any of this information. The Mets obviously know what they’re doing.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. upson May 5, 2009 at 2:22 pm
    c’mon Joe, you know you’re better than this. You cannot simply refuse to voice your opinion. It does not work like that 🙂

    Concerning Takahashi’s start: after deciding to keep Perez around, the Mets pretty much did not have any other option. After already losing O’Day and Fossum, the Mets obviously did not want to risk losing yet another pitcher. At least, not before Redding’s activation. In fact, they have to use the remaining time till then to evaluate Takahashi (and possibly Green) because, eventually, somebody will have to go.

    Btw, both Figueroa and Redding are starting today for the Bisons in a doubleheader against Lehigh Valley.

  2. Mike May 5, 2009 at 3:19 pm
    Is this lack of opinion in response to criticism from Metsblog?
  3. mic May 5, 2009 at 3:26 pm
    I agree with Joe. I also think/expect something different on Friday based on the fact Takahashi will be brought in today in the 5th/6th inning. BUT since there are no guarantees Gee, Niese nor Brandon Knight can get thru 5 they might as well wait.

    As it is I see 50-60 pitches from Tak and then Ollie comes in to clean up his own mess.

    To open a different dialog that Joe has not picked up on yet: The outfield

    CB- hitting .400 and reading your blog. 2HR yesterday shows what happens when he gets mad.

    Sheff- .176 but getting hittings and playing his part.

    Tatis- begging for PT.

    DM- Not going to AAA. Now he’s shagging grounders at 1st. Showing some power, getting clutch hits, great attitude and ethic….reminds me of a chase utley type.

    Church…doing fine (?).

    FMart hitting .280 flashing a little power and playing RF…..hmmm.

    J-reed – needs PT. Kept adam Jones in the minors, plays flawless OF. This yr has some clutch hits.

    Lets not forget Wily Mo.

    Who needs OF help?

  4. isuzudude May 5, 2009 at 3:33 pm
    “I refuse to pass judgment or state an opinion on any of this information. The Mets obviously know what they’re doing.”

    They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. But does it still hold true when the imitation is performed sarcastically?

    Even if the ORIGINAL perpetrator of the comment really believed that (and the knowledgeable among us know who the perpetrator is), then that person would also believe the Mets (i.e. Omar, Jerry, and the Wilpons) “knew what they were doing” when they…

    1. Mishandled Ryan Church’s concussions
    2. Passed on Derek Lowe this offseason
    3. Cowardly fired Willie on the West Coast after a Mets victory
    4. Chose to greatly ignore the Mets’ history when constructing a new ballpark
    5. Trusted Bernie Madoff and his ponzi scheme
    6. Failed in making the playoffs with the highest payroll in the NL
    7. Failed in pulling off a trade at last year’s deadline
    8. Sign Luis Castillo to a 4-yr, $28-mil contract no one else would have come close to
    9. Signed Yorvit Torrealba…and then ‘unsigned’ him a day or two later
    10. Failed to give honest opportunities to future stars such as Heath Bell and Matt Lindstrom

    And I’m sure I’m leaving out a few easy ones.

    But with these credentials, it’s no wonder the Mets’ brass should go unquestioned and unchecked when making instrumental decisions to the club’s future!

  5. John Fitzgerald May 5, 2009 at 4:00 pm
    Jerry Manuel is taking credit for James Baldwin and Jon Garland? I’ve heard it all now.

    Not sure about Baldwin, but Garland didn’t have a winning season until Ozzie Guillen took over. He may have been .500 once or twice though.

    The NY media has done a TERRIBLE job of researching what a disaster Manuel was in Chicago. From Sox Machine:

    “Most of all, Garland has benefited from Ozzie Guillen’s patience. Jerry Manuel had a notoriously short leash on Garland, not letting him work deep into games or out of jams. The need to be perfect to stay in games made him a nibbler instead of a pitcher, and he spent a large part of the game behind in the count.

    However, in 2004, Guillen gave Garland big-boy pants – and while he struggled at times in 2004, he seemed to be less fazed by pressure in 2005 – from beginning the season 8-0 to closing it out with two quality starts in the playoffs. Sure, he went 10-10 in between, but it wasn’t his fault. He had just about the same ERA in the first half as he did in the second.”

    Link: http://soxmachine.com/blogs/soxmachine/archive/2005/12.aspx

    A nibbler instead of a pitcher? Sounds alot like Maine, Ollie and Pelfrey.

  6. joe May 5, 2009 at 4:06 pm
    Upson: good point. But, then, why not burn one of the options on Niese or Gee, who are supposed to lead the Mets to the Promised Land one day?

    Mic: can any of those outfielders PITCH?

    Mike: I think you’re being “presumptuous” 🙂

    John: Manuel managed before? In Chicago? You mean, before Guillen was hired and led the team to the World Serious? Huh.

  7. sincekindergarten May 5, 2009 at 5:00 pm
    Manuel saying that Takahashi is only going 65 pitches is another way of saying, “Ollie’s getting into this game.”

    mic pointing out the surplus of OFs is a good point. Do the Mariners need a bunch of OFs (for Erik Bedard)? How ’bout the Rays, for a starter?

    PS–the Captcha thing at the end of this, which no one else can see, says “marriage 45.” Does that mean I’ll find a .45 in my marriage? (I have been looking at a Winchester M92-clone in .45 Colt . . .)

  8. Walnutz15 May 5, 2009 at 6:45 pm
    Beaut of a post, ‘Dude……couldn’t have said it any better.

    And won’t try.

    Yesterday marked the 1-year anniversary of Ben Johnson’s release. Break out the champagne!

    P.S. — Where’s Jon Adkins anyway?

  9. murph May 6, 2009 at 3:42 am
    I think keeping Ollie on the big league roster is as much to save face for the Mets brass as it is to protect Perez’ psyche.

    But I think he should have been sent down to Florida or up to Buffalo. As we learned in 2007 & 2008, when the Mets were eliminated on the last day, EVERY game matters. Why take chances that Ollie will blow another game in May? Straighten him out where the games don’t matter.

  10. CatchDog May 6, 2009 at 7:49 am
    Joe; sometimes it’s what you DON’T say that speaks volumes. I appreciate your style.