It's been a rough season in Citi Field, and an even rougher week.
After losing three out of four games to the rival Phillies—with one ending on an unassisted triple play—and watching Johan Santana miss his scheduled Tuesday start and ultimately the rest of the season, the New York Mets finally got some good news.
Oliver Perez will not pitch again in 2009.
On Wednesday, the Mets placed Perez on the disabled list for the remainder of the 2009 season with an injured knee that the Mets have described as "chronic tendinitis." It's the same injury that sidelined Perez for two months earlier this season.
Another ringing endorsement for the Mets medical and training staff.
This injury, however, may be the only that actually benefits the Mets.
It was obvious during his last start against the Phillies—the one where Perez would last only two-thirds of an inning while allowing six earned runs—that Oliver Perez should not be allowed to throw another pitch for the Mets in 2009.
Not only was he wild, yet again, but his body language and demeanor on the mound screamed "get me out of here." It was as bad as "Bad Ollie" had ever been.
This injury allows the Mets to legitimately sit Perez until spring training 2010, while the player and team tries to figure out how to fix the guy who was supposed to be the Mets No. 2 starter.
Regardless of the injury, there is no way that Perez should have been allowed to pitch at all the rest of this season. 2009 has been a nightmare of a year for Perez, who resigned with the Mets during the winter to the tune of three years and $36 million.
Perez has been able to pitch in only 14 games all season. In those games, Perez has posted a record of 3-4 and an ERA of 6.82. Perez's control problems have seemingly gotten worse, as he has walked almost as many batters as he's struck out (58 BB compared to 62 SO). Perez has also allowed a whopping 131 batters to reach base in only 66 innings pitched.
That's almost two base runners per inning. Not exactly a recipe for success.
Perez has suffered from poor performances, control problems, confidence issues, and injuries all season, things that would make it hard for anyone to succeed, but whatever the reason is, resigning Perez during the winter looks worse and worse for the Mets each day.
So maybe this injury will do some good for Perez. Maybe sitting out the remainder of this lost season will not only give Perez time to heal properly, but will also give him time to figure out what went wrong this year. Maybe the rest will do him good, and maybe "Good Ollie" will show up in shape and ready to go in 2010.
He's still owed $24 million over the next two seasons, so Oliver Perez will be back no matter what next year, and he will be given every opportunity to succeed.
For the rest of this season, however, with all of the terrible baseball Mets fans have had to watch, all of the disappointment and losing they've had to endure, Mets fans will not have to watch Oliver Perez implode again.
Well, at least not until 2010, anyway.
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