Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another Thing I Forgot: Perez Used to Be Filthy

It's easy to forget this, but remember when Oliver Perez was filthy?

It's tough to remember this because he's been so inconsistent and hasn't been dominant in the past few years.  But guess what, Oliver Perez CAN be filthy.  Yeah, I know, the guy's a headcase.  But, he's a headcase who can strike out over 170 batters a season, and has the capability to be a number two pitcher, like he was in 2007.

It has been written about before that Oliver Perez can hold the key to the Mets season.  I don't know that it's on him, as much as it is on the staff in general.  Even if Perez doesn't turn in a fantastic season, the Mets can still have a good rotation if Maine, Pelfrey and the fifth starter improve.  Perez's line doesn't need to return to a 2.98 ERA with 239 K's (like it was in 2004 for the Pirates-YES, this is the same Oliver Perez) or the 3.56 ERA and 174 strikeout performance he had in 2007 for the Mets, any improvement on his part would improve the team's likelihood of competing this season.  So, Ollie, don't try to bite off more than you can chew, take it bit-by-bit and slowly improve, and the rest will come. 

Perez has for long been acknowledged as a guy with great "stuff."  I don't think there is any debate there.  And at the age of 28, he is NOT a candidate for just "not having it anymore."  He's young and he has the skills/live arm to succeed, so do it.  His problem lies in his mental make-up, and if he can re-gain the confidence that he had in 2004 or 2007, the Mets might have found themselves a number 2 starter...

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