For those people that have been reading the local newspapers and blogs that have to do with the Mets, you would think that the sky was falling. That would be because the Mets went out and spent money to fix their primary problem, which was the bullpen, yet they are off to just an 8-10 start to the season.
There are people calling for Oliver Perez to be demoted after his woeful start against the Nationals yesterday, but I believe the best course of action to take is no action at all. We have all seen Perez when he is on his game, and he can be really good. I think this is where Jerry Manuel needs to step in and whip him into shape.
Recently, Manuel has been using scare tactics to try and get through to his players, and while that may work for some, it might not work for a guy like Oliver Perez, who has enough going on in his head as it is. The key for Perez is confidence and execution, and we haven’t seen either of those when he is pitched. He is the prototypical example of the guy who lets one mistake snowball until it has a huge affect on the game. He needs to get over the fact that he isn’t perfect, and he needs to focus on the task at hand.
If the Mets want to send the new millionaire down, who would be the logical replacement? Four guys come to my mind as possibilities. Tim Redding, Freddy Garcia, Jonathan Niese, and Nelson Figueroa. None of those really jump off of the page. While I am a fan of Niese, I want him to keep his rhythm. When the Mets call him up, it needs to be for good. You can’t mess with a young kid’s mind, because it makes it difficult for him to understand a demotion.
Figueroa can give you a decent start now and again, and who knows what to expect out of Redding or Garcia? I think sticking with Perez is most sensible, although change is certainly an appetizing thought.
How about this. Instead of a change in personnel, why doesn’t Ollie act like it’s a huge game, and he better pitch his heart out. Then the fans and media will finally get off of his back.