Tag:Oliver Perez
Posted on: July 4, 2011 10:57 am
Edited on: July 4, 2011 12:44 pm
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Harper headed to Double-A

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Bryce HarperBryce Harper, the game's top prospect, has been promoted to Double-A, the Nationals announced.

Harper dominated the low-Class A South Atlantic League, hitting .318/.4232/.554 with 14 home runs in 72 games and 305 plate appearances for Hagerstown. He will skip high-Class A Potomac, reporting to the organization's Double-A affiliate in Harrisburg, Penn.

"This is a developmental issue," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters, including Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com. "We're happy that he progressed as much as he did in that league and showed us that he could handle top-flight velocity and breaking pitches and that type of thing. We feel he's ready to take the next step. This was a plan I had in my mind for a long, long time." 

Harper is just 18 and nearly four years younger than the next-youngest player on the Senators, catcher Derek Norris (22). Norris was born in February 1989; Harper's birthday is Oct. 16, 1992. Harper is more than 11 years younger than Senators lefty (and former Mets scapegoat) Oliver Perez, the team's oldest player at 29.

Harrisburg begins a four-game homestand tonight.

Goessling said Rizzo denied the Nationals skipped high-Class A Potomac of the Carolina League because the team is unhappy with ownership about the condition of the team's facility, Pfitzner Stadium. 

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Posted on: March 23, 2011 3:31 pm
 

Nationals sign Oliver Perez

By Evan Brunell

Oliver Perez has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Nationals, as Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports.

It's possible Perez could make the team over the rest of spring training, but he would have a tough hill to climb given the team is largely settled in the rotation. It's possible he could crack the bullpen, but after the spring training Ollie has had, Washington certainly has to have plans to start Perez in Triple-A.

It's unclear what role Washington envisions for the lefty, but it wouldn't be the world's worst idea to stick him in Triple-A's rotation and go from there. While his 95-mph fastball is gone, if he can learn to pitch at 85-mph, he could be an asset. There are plenty of soft-tossing left-handers in the league, and they tend to age well as teams constantly need lefties.

One problem: you need control to be a soft-tossing lefty, and Perez is horrendously bad in this department. In the end, this is just a random flyer that has little chance of working out.

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Posted on: March 21, 2011 6:43 pm
 

Report: Yankees have interest in Perez

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Oliver PerezSports Illustrated's Jon Heyman isn't the type of reporter to make stuff up just for fun, but if he were, he could do worse than his latest tweet -- that the Yankees are interested in former Mets lefty Oliver Perez "as a cheap sign."

Heyman notes that the Yankees officials have discussed it, but that Brian Cashman isn't "enthused" with the possibility, so it's not likely to happen.

He also says the Diamondbacks, with Kevin Towers, are Perez's best hope.

Perez will get a chance somewhere, that much is sure. He's talented and he'll cost next-to-nothing once he goes through waivers (and nobody is picking him up on waivers). If Perez is willing to go to Triple-A to prove himself, it could happen. Stranger things have happened (remember Jose Lima's comeback?)

As far as the teams a fits, a miracle fits with just about anybody, so 29 teams -- including the Yankees -- are likely discussing adding him right now.

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Posted on: March 19, 2011 8:21 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/19: Say goodbye to Oliver



By Matt Snyder


3 DOWN

Oliver Perez, Mets. The much-maligned lefty has been a huge talking point all spring for Mets fans and scribes alike. Will the Mets simply cut their losses and eat the remainder of his contract -- which is one year and $12 million? They are already eating $6 million after dismissing Luis Castillo. Saturday, Perez probably put the nail in his own proverbial coffin. He entered the game in the seventh inning and coughed up back-to-back jacks after inheriting two runners. Reports have the Mets cutting ties with him as early as Sunday.

Cole Hamels, Phillies. For the second-straight outing, Hamels was torched. He allowed seven hits, five earned runs and three walks in 3 2/3 innings. He did strike out five.

Jason Marquis, Nationals. Not to be outdone by his fellow NL East bretheren, Marquis served up nine hits, six earned runs and three walks in 3 2/3 innings to the Mets. Despite Perez's best efforts to let the Nats back in the game, Marquis still took the loss -- as if that really matters in the spring.

3 UP

Derrek Lee, Orioles. He took a walk and scored a run in two plate appearances. His other was a strikeout, but the main thing was the veteran first baseman played for the first time this spring and reported afterward he was pain-free.

Trevor Cahill, A's. He had struggled thus far in the spring, but not Saturday. Cahill worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing only four hits and one earned run. He struck out three.

Travis Wood, Reds. At the same time Johnny Cueto was leaving a game injured, Wood was making a strong case to make the Reds' rotation even if Cueto is completely healthy. He was straight dominant through four shutout innings, and finished with four hits, one earned run and four strikeouts in five innings. He did seem to tire a bit in the fifth, but we're still a few starts away from the regular season. He'll get there.

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Posted on: March 9, 2011 2:31 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 4:44 pm
 

Overpaid Perez to 'pen, release next?

By Matt Snyder

Wednesday, the New York Mets announced Oliver Perez will not be part of their starting rotation this season. This is hardly surprising to anyone who has followed baseball the past two years. The New York Post and others have speculated this signals a chain of events that will lead to his ultimate dismissal from the team, but those sentiments are probably a bit premature at this junction. After all, Perez is going to make $12 million this season. The team should at least wait until late March before deciding to eat all those dollars. You never know what happens before then.

Others have noted Perez is going to compete for a job as a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen. (ESPN New York )

The big lingering question is what the Mets were thinking when they signed him to a three-year, $36 million deal after 2008. He did make 34 starts for the Mets that season, but his ERA was a mediocre 4.22 and he led the majors in walks (105). He was good in 2007 and great in 2004. Otherwise, pretty much a mess. And he got three years.

And the Mets got this for the first two years of the deal: 3-9, 6.81 ERA, 99 strikeouts with 100 walks and a whopping 21 home runs allowed.

Perez, again, is set to make $12 million this season. There are exactly 20 starting pitchers set to earn more. You won't see Josh Johnson or Felix Hernandez on the list, nor will you see Cliff Lee -- his deal is backloaded, but he'll start making more next season.

Here they are, from highest-paid to Oliver Perez:

CC Sabathia, Johan Santana, Roy Halladay, Carlos Zambrano, Barry Zito, Josh Beckett, A.J. Burnett, Jake Peavy, Roy Oswalt, John Lackey, Chris Carpenter, Derek Lowe, Ryan Dempster, Tim Lincecum, Mark Buehrle, Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander, Dan Haren, Carlos Silva and Kyle Lohse.

Hiroki Kuroda and Scott Kazmir will make equal to Perez.

It's interesting that you can easily spot some pretty egregious contracts in there (Zito and Zambrano come to mind, both of whom will make more than $18 million this season, though Zambrano was lights-out down the stretch last year), but few come close to being as bad as Perez. In fact, Silva is probably the closest one and the Cubs only took him to free themselves of another bad contract (Milton Bradley). And at least Silva showed signs of being helpful last season. We haven't seen those from Perez since '08.

Go ahead and pick out a bust from above, and try to argue he's more an albatross than Perez is to the Mets. From where I sit, it's safe to say he's easily the most overpaid pitcher in the game.

A funny side-note, the Oakland A's -- who should contend this year -- don't have a single player who makes more than $6 million a year. So it's possible Perez doesn't even throw a pitch this season and still makes twice as much as any Oakland player. There are several other teams like this, but the A's seemed like the best of the bunch.

(Hat-tip to Cot's Baseball Contracts )

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 8, 2011 9:47 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 9:54 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/8: End of line for Ollie?

BeckhamBy Evan Brunell

3 UP

1. SP Kyle Davies, KC: 3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K. An impressive outing for Davies, who lowered his spring ERA to 2.57. This from a guy with a career 5.49 ERA, but he's just 27. The Royals could really use a leap ahead by Davies, as the rotation looks downright frightful in what is going to be a very long season for Royals fans as they await the new guard. In the same game, Dontrelle Willis hurled two perfect innings and is shaping up nicely to claim a spot in the Reds' bullpen.

2. CF Chris Young, ARI: 4 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 4 RBI, 1 HR. Young has 30-homer power, but has yet to truly break out into being a star. He doesn't necessarily need to to provide value to the Diamondbacks, especially given his strong defense, but what's holding him back is batting average with a career .241 mark. Even after Tuesday's explosion with a two-run homer, Young's at a .250 batting average. He is what he is at this point in his career, and as long as he keeps boppin' them homers, he'll do just fine.

3. 2B Gordon Beckham, CHW: 4 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 1 RBI. Great day for Beckham, who is now batting .412 on spring training. Beckham got 2010 off to a brutal start before recovering down the stretch, but his season was already ruined statistically. A great sleeper as someone who could break out into a star.

3 DOWN

1. SP Zack Greinke, MIL. The Brewers' new ace will have to wait to make his debut, as bruised and fractured ribs will sideline Greinke for the first couple weeks of the season, if not longer. Milwaukee should be very concerned about its depth, of which it has none to replace Greinke. Manny Parra is a failed starter, and going with Mark Rogers is fraught with risk. By the way, in Tuesday's game, Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee took exception to the Dodgers' Roman Colon fist-pumping after a strikeout. Benches cleared, but no punches were thrown.

2. SP Oliver Perez, NYM: 3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. Perez had two scoreless innings to finish his outing, but that underscores how bad he got the first inning started by allowing the first four batters to reach. This figures to be the end of the line for the experiment doomed to fail with Ollie as starting pitcher. Never fear, Perez fans: the Mets will continue to give lip service toward the lefty making the team as a reliever. 

3. SP Brandon Dickson, STL: 3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. Dickson can't be too pleased with this outing as there's a job up for grabs that he's in the running for: Adam Wainwright's replacement. The righty is battling with several other candidates, but there are no clear-cut ones, so every outing counts, even if people are still working out the kinks this early in the spring training schedule.

HONORABLE MENTION

Brian Wilson, for making his beard even more legen -- wait for it -- dary, courtesy MLB.com.

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Posted on: March 4, 2011 9:53 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:29 pm
 

Pepper: Big Puma struggling through spring

Lance Berkman

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Cardinals came out of the offseason sacrificing defense for offense, but that offense may have a hard time even getting on the field.

Lance Berkman, inked in as the team's right fielder going into the spring, was scratched from the team's lineup on Thursday because of a sore left calf. Berkman had already been limited to designated hitter work because of a bad left elbow.

It's just the first week of games, and Berkman has been limited to play in the field. On Thursday, Berkman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he was "perfectly fine" and would still go to Kissimmee, Fla., on Friday to face his old team, the Astros.

Friday morning, Berkman wasn't on the bus, missing another game.

Prospect Zack Cox filled in for Berkman at DH on Thursday and knocked in a run, but he's not ready to fill in full-time for Berkman in the field and the National League doesn't have the DH.

Sure, it's early, and several players are battling bumps and bruises, but not all of them are 35, coming off a down season, moving to a more demanding physical position, blocked at their old position and being counted on to remedy a team's offense. That's a lot on the shoulders of the Big Puma, and it's looking less like he can shoulder that load.

WAKE-UP: As if stepping into the box against a guy who can sling the ball 105 mph wasn't enough to get your attention, the first pitch ending up somewhere near the bull certainly got Dodger Trent Oeltjen's attention. Thursday night, the first pitch of Chapman's inning of work went over the catcher's mitt and over the umpire's head. His next three pitches to Oeltjen were strikes, including strike three looking.

"If it was at my face, I wouldn't have had time to move," Oeltjen told the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez. "It woke me up. He sent a message he was throwing hard."

Said new manager Don Mattingly: "Jeez, huh? He was Randy Johnson-ish. It gets there quick, doesn't it?"

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS: Carlos Zambrano didn't fight anyone in his Thursday start for the Cubs -- not only that, he threw three scoreless innings. However, he did complain of arm fatigue after the start.

"I was just tired," Zambrano said to the Chicago Sun-Times. "It's normal. I wasn't feeling power in my arm, but I guarantee you I will work hard and feel good in my next start."

Zambrano note he typically feels a "dead-arm" at least once a spring.

JUST BAD NEWS: Yesterday the question was if Astros' catcher Jason Castro would miss the beginning of the season. Today, it's if he'll play at all this season.

Thursday night, Castro was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Castro was scheduled to have surgery this morning, and general manager Ed Wade said he could return "by mid-September." (Houston Chronicle)

WAIT FOR JUDGEMENT? Matt Cain said he hasn't thrown a ball since coming down with elbow inflammation on Sunday and will likely miss multiple starts this spring. 

However, Cain's not too concerned, even after taking an MRI.

There is a history -- and this is something to watch -- of pitchers going to the postseason one season and having trouble the next because of the increased workload. While Cain's not worried, it'll be something to monitor with all of the Giants' pitching staff. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ANOTHER WART: Hopefully Orioles starter Brian Matusz won't tweet a picture like Michael Cuddyer, but he'll also be having a wart professionally removed.

Matusz's wart is on the middle finger of his pitching hand. Still, he threw two scoreless innings on Wednesday even with the wart. He had it some last year, but pitched through it. He said it bothers him some on his breaking ball. (Baltimore Sun)

WAS THAT REALLY A CONSIDERATION? Oliver Perez has been the New York media's favorite target for a while, but is this really necessary? The New Your Daily News' "breaking news" from "a source" is that the Mets have internally decided Perez will not be a starter during the regular season.

The Daily News' Andy Martino wrote that the day after he wrote the team would cut Perez (and his $12 million salary) if he didn't perform well in his start on Thursday. Well, he threw two scoreless innings against the Cardinals, so Martino didn't get his wish. Instead, he had to find a new way to pile onto Perez.

Hey, it's not to say Perez doesn't stink. He does. Or that he's not overpaid -- he is. It's just, this breathless reporting seems almost like piling on. Sure, the Mets have said he's in contention for the rotation, but the Mets say a lot of things, and it's not like we believe those.

NOW HE COULD BE IN A ROTATION: Neftali Feliz wasn't too happy with his first start of spring. Still, he threw two scoreless innings, so it wasn't bad. He also threw three different pitches, but struggled with his command and rhythm.

The Feliz story may be one of the more interesting ones of spring, and certainly something to watch as the month goes along. He'll throw three innings next week. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

VISA TIME: Edinson Volquez, Cincinnati's opening-day starter, could pitch his first spring training start because of a visa problem, but he should be able to make his next start after a quick trip to his native Dominican Republic.

"Everything is set," he told the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay. "They're just waiting for me to pitch it up."

He was unable to pitch in games at which admission is charged because he came to camp on a travel visa, not a work visa. His work visa was held up because of his failed drug test and suspension last season.

COCO CONTRITE: A's outfielder Coco Crisp said he's embarrassed about his DUI arrest on Wednesday morning. (San Francisco Chronicle)

GO METS OR GO HOME: Former Cardinals and A's closer Jason Isringhausen is back in camp for the Mets, after starting a comeback last season in the Reds system.

Isringhausen played in Triple-A last season, but says his bus-riding days are over. If he doesn't break camp with the Mets, he'll just go home and call it a career. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

OR JUST GO HOME: Boston's J.D. Drew says he's considering retiring after this year. It's been one of those things he's hinted at before and is hardly a surprise. (Boston Herald)

SO WHO IS A-ROD? According to Wikileaks, a U.S. diplomatic cable on the 2009 Iranian election called President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the "George Steinbrenner of Iran" when talking about his influence over the national soccer team.

I'm guessing that wasn't a compliment. (Associated Press)

WHAT'S A WORLD SERIES WORTH? How much are World Series starts worth to a Hall of Fame discussion? Or, even more words about Jack Morris from Baseball Prospectus.

Honestly, I used to be a Morris for the Hall guy, I'm not anymore. I used to not be a Bert Blyleven guy, but I am now. But I'll certainly never change my feeling that I never want to hear another Morris-Blyleven debate.

A BETTER SCORECARD: An interview with Bethany Heck, the designer of a new, better, scorebook. Heck's 20-game scorebook is like "if Moleskine made a scorebook…" (Bugs & Cranks)

WHAT TO WATCH: Jake Peavy will make his first start since July 6 today against the Angels in Tempe, Ariz.

"Hopefully, we'll see some of the hard work we've done pay off," he told the Chicago Tribune.

QUARTERBACK SHOWDOWN: There's a Groundhog Day aspect to spring training, so Padres manager Bud Black found a way to break up the monotony -- a quarterback combine.

While Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert (seriously, could you draft a quarterback named "Blaine") did this in Indianapolis last week, Black had his former quarterbacks -- top prospect Casey Kelly, Cory Luebke, Orlando Hudson and Nick Hundley -- go through their own competition Thursday morning.

According to MLB.com's Corey Brock, the three went through several drills, including hitting a moving target. Luebke, a high school quarterback in Ohio, upset Kelly, who signed a letter of intent to play QB at Tennessee.

"We're here for six weeks," Black said. "… We try to do some things to keep the guys going."

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: The Reds have announced the front-runner for the year's best bobblehead. On July 2 against the Indians, fans will receive the combination Dusty Baker bobblehead and toothpick holder. The bobblehead even has Dusty with a toothpick in his mouth (and, of course, sweatbands on his arms). So far, it's the best bobblehead I've seen on tap for this year, with the Reds also getting second place for their Jonny Gomes bobblehead and arm, mimicking the way Gomes tugs at his helmet before every at-bat.

Dusty Baker

IF YOU'RE NOT ALREADY BEARDED OUT: The literary journal McSweeney's is selling a "How to Beard Yourself Like Brian Wilson" poster.

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Posted on: March 3, 2011 2:44 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2011 4:26 pm
 

Perez performs under pressure

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Oliver PerezOliver Perez is likely to survive another day.

A report in the New York Daily News on Thursday morning said the Mets would possibly release the left-hander if he didn't perform well against the Cardinals on Thursday, his second outing of spring.

Well, if it's based on results, he passed the test. Perez threw two scoreless innings, allowing two hits without walking a batter. In his first outing of the spring on Sunday, Perez allowed four runs with three walks in two innings.

"Everything that happened in the last game, I tried to change that," Perez told reporters, including the New York Times' David Waldstein.

Perez's velocity was also up -- even though it was hardly fear-inducing at 87 mph.

"I know my velocity is not there, so I have to find ways to get outs," Perez said. "When my velocity comes back, I'm going to be the same."

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