Should You Be Concerned About Oliver Perez?

That headline is giving me a feeling of deja vu all over again …

Luckily, spring training games don’t count. Luckily, spring training stats don’t matter.

Unluckily, a pitcher who has shown zero progression through six weeks of spring training is unlikely to suddenly switch into a Cy Young candidate.

Oliver Perez allowed three homeruns in his first two innings of work, including a blast against the wind off the bat of Brendan Ryan.

Brendan Ryan.

The same Brendan Ryan who has hit a total of 7 homeruns in nearly 850 MLB plate appearances. The same Brendan Ryan whose career path more resembles Fred Stanley than Fred McGriff.

BTW, Albert Pujols did not make the trip to Port St. Lucie.

Beyond the numbers marking this outing as ugly, there are other concerns regarding Ollie Perez. First, his mechanics remain an inconsistent disaster. He’s over-rotating, resulting in committing his hips too early, resulting in lack of command and velocity. He’s keeping his glove down around his waist during his entire motion, so the batter is getting a nice clean look at the ball. His aforementioned lack of velocity is alarming — he’s barely cracking 90 MPH. Because of the over-rotation and premature hip commitment, his breaking ball release point is way too high and early, so they have no, um, “break”. Perhaps because of all these issues and the poor performance, he looks scared on the mound. His body language emits negativity, resignation. In contrast, the body language of opposing hitters yesterday was the exact opposite — they looked like they couldn’t get into the batter’s box fast enough, licking their chops and expecting to rip Ollie’s offerings to shreds.

So the question is, should you be concerned about Oliver Perez? Nah … I’m sure he’ll “flip the switch” and immediately revert to the guy that won 15 games in 2007. “No question,” as Jerry Manuel might say.

The Good News

The good news is that Jose Reyes appeared in a minor league game yesterday and didn’t suffer any setbacks. Johan Santana pitched in that same game and didn’t drop dead or have his arm fall off, so it was a positive outing. Additionally, Daniel Murphy collected a few hits in the Major League contest, upping his average and OBP near the Mendoza Line. So there were some bright spots in Port St. Lucie on Tuesday afternoon.

2010 Spring Training

About the Author

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.

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