Yesterday I had the opportunity to contribute to the conversation over at Hotstove.com about how confident I was that Oliver Perez would "bounce back" in 2010. Here is the question, and my response.
Oliver Perez looked very shaky in his first spring start on Sunday (5 runs on 7 hits in 3 innings). How confident are you that Perez will be able to return to the form this season that netted him his current 3-year, $36 million deal?
Onan Coca, South of Shea
Honestly, the form that got Oliver Perez his 3-year, $36 million deal was not really that good. Perez got his deal because of his upside and the fact that there were not any other great (cheaper) options on the Free Agent list in the 2008-2009 offseason. Last year he was probably the worst starting pitcher in baseball, and oddly enough, this is why I have a bit of optimism about Ollie in 2010. Look, he can’t really be any worse, can he? He and Dan Warthen have worked on his technique and mechanics, they have ironed out some past issues and hopefully that leads to him being better in 2010. I am not worried about his first spring training start because he only walked one batter and that is a HUGE improvement. If Ollie can limit the walks I think he can still be an above average pitcher…here’s hoping.
I don't think anyone expects Oliver Perez to ever be anything more than a league average pitcher. Sure, once upon a time he showed the "stuff" to maybe be great... but that was a long time ago, and a lot has changed since then. All of that being said, Oliver does have the chance to help the Mets win... all he has to do is be a little better than league average.
If you would like to see the responses of some of the other bloggers who took part in the discussion, look here.