My wife is not a baseball fan. Calling her even a casual fan would be a fierce overstatement. When she opts to grace me with her presence as I’m watching a game, statements of “that pitch was awful” or “what the heck was he doing” are commonplace, despite her lack of knowledge of the game.
Her favorite phrase, however, is:
“Perez sucks, boot him forever”
The Perez she is referring to is the Mets’ Oliver Perez. While I may not agree with the latter part of the phrase, it’s tough to argue with the beginning. Yesterday’s performance could be the exclamation point on what may be one of the most enigmatic performers in baseball. It took him 98 pitches to get just 10 outs. Of those pitches, only 44 were for strikes, as he walked seven and hit a batter.
Acquired by the Mets in 2006, he has a history of starts like this. There were four starts where he walked at least six batters in 2009. In 2008 he had a start in Colorado where he walked eight. In 2007 he walked seven against the Phillies.
We all know he has the stuff to be successful, when he’s actually finding the strike zone. In his six starts this season he hasn’t walked less than three batters in a game. He’s now sporting a BB/9 of 7.5, basically preventing him any chance of success.
It’s easy to focus just on the control, but there are other numbers that should be mentioned.
The speed of his fastball is down, by over two miles per hour. While his career average is 91.1 mph, last season he was at 90.0 mph. This year? Just 88.0 heading into yesterday’s start.
It’s possible he’s hurt, but it’s also possible that he was trying to dial it down in attempt to gain better control. That clearly hasn’t happened and has also helped contribute to a decline in strikeouts. Just look at his K/9s since 2007:
- 2007 – 8.9
- 2008 – 8.4
- 2009 – 8.5
- 2010 – 6.6
That was his one saving grace, the one thing that made him a viable fantasy option. Without that, what’s the point?
As of right now he’s an average strikeout pitcher with an awful WHIP and the chance to blowup in any given start. Does that sound like something you’d want to risk having on the roster?
Yesterday’s start should be the last straw for the Mets (but of course, these are the Mets, so they are going to continue using him in the rotation). It would not be a surprise to see him dropped from the rotation and he certainly shouldn’t have a spot on your fantasy roster at this point. I could understand wanting to take the gamble on him early on, but at this point fellow Met Jonathan Niese is a much better bet.
Outside of the deepest of formats, he clearly has no value for fantasy owners. If he should start to turn things around, I don’t see any other owners scrambling to take the gamble on him. Throw him to the waiver wire for now and actually take a pitcher that you’d be willing to use in any given week.
What are your thoughts? Is there any way that you’d use Perez? Why or why not?
To view the previous article, click here.