|Perez demotion is right|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on May 16, 2010
The Mets pulled Oliver Perez from their starting rotation on Saturday, and David Lennon of Newsday reports Perez won't accept a demotion to Class AAA. Instead, he will pitch out of the bullpen. Tuesday is his first expected day of availability.
Perez's outright rejection of going to Class AAA shows his true character. He doesn't care about performing to the best of his abilities. Instead, he just wants to remain in the Major Leagues, even if it impacts the Mets negatively.
We've all seen the horror of Perez starting this season -- 1.92 WHIP, 28 walks (vs. just 27 strikeouts) in 33 1/3 innings pitched, a 5.94 ERA. The Mets have had plenty of pitching trouble so far this season.
Johan Santana's ERA is about four-tenths of a run higher than his career average. His fastball has lost velocity, which limits the impact of his changeup because of the smaller difference between the two in velocity. John Maine has been atrocious, while Jonathan Niese hasn't been much.
Perez's difficult 2010 season comes after an injury-marred and difficult season in 2009. The concern with Perez has been whether his control would be good enough to make use of his excellent stuff. That hasn't been the case this season.
Perez should be open to a demotion to Class AAA. There, he would receive opportunities to regain his control without the difficulties of getting Major League hitters out. If he were in Class AAA, he would allow the Mets to call up another arm to help their Major League club. Instead, once manager Jerry Manuel calls on Perez, it may mean he needs to have another pitcher warming up to bail Perez.
Perez says he wouldn't accept a demotion, but it's the right move for the Mets to make. It's only a shame Perez doesn't see the benefit in it, for whatever reason he chooses not to.