Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Where Do We Go From Here?

Posted by JD on May 3, 2009

As the semi-official driver of the Ollie Perez bandwagon, it truly pains me to say this: the wheels have come off.  David Lennon of Newsday reports that Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya are seriously considering demoting him and even Ollie seems to get that it might be the best course of action:

“If I need it, I have to go,” said Perez, who lasted only 21/3 innings and allowed four runs, five hits and six walks, “because right now, I’m not helping my team.”

In the long run, this is the best decision they can make.  Sinking $36 million into Perez has turned him into an unmovable asset.  Ollie has shown little propensity for reversing his slump in the big leagues.  His next start at Citi Field would undoubtedly include a bloodbath of boos at the first miscue and Ollie would not be able to handle that.  The best option at the moment is to take a step back, report to extended spring training in Port St. Lucie, and participate in a non-baseball conditioning program.  This would give him a break from the baseball routine and allow him to wipe the slate.  Once he regroups, he can report to Buffalo and try to build himself back up.

There is the potential for positives here.  If Ollie dedicates himself to rebuilding his career, the stay in the minors could produce the same results it did for Steve Trachsel in 2001.  At the time of his demotion, Trachsel had just become the first Mets pitcher to allow four (four!) home runs in one inning and was sporting an 8.24 ERA.  Not bad really, considering he had just given up four home runs in one (one!) inning.

(Just an aside: I cannot wrap my brain around this and I have no memory of it happening. I’m sure I saw it, and I’m just as sure I immediately wiped it from my brain for safety’s sake).

More to the point, he managed to lower his ERA to a more manageable 4.46 in the 20 starts he made after returning.  He had some blow-ups (a 2 and 2/3 inning blow up against the Cubs) but he threw three complete games, two of which were shut-outs.  His trip to the minors has become the reference point for cases like Ollie’s: “Send him down for a week and see if he can pull a Trachsel.”  If it works out, it will be the equivalent of trading Ollie for a useful replacement-level pitcher, which at this point would qualify as a definite upgrade.

Can Ollie do it?  Even I have to admit that I have no idea.  Again (look out, dead horse alert!), the talent is absolutely there.  But is the personal and professional pride?  The work ethic?  The drive?  At this point it’s doubtful.  And that’s just sad.

Thanks go out to Baseball Reference for providing Steve Trachsel’s 2001 game log. A truly indespensible resource.

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One Response to “Where Do We Go From Here?”

  1. metgirl4ever said

    *sigh* It’s time to throw in the towel, no more starts. They should not be considering demoting him, just do it. Wasn’t it Einstein who said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?? Sorry Ollie, no more MLB starts for now… :’-(

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