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.