So I felt a little vindicated today when Oliver Perez stunk it up.
I hated the Nady trade. I still hate it. And I don't even care that Nady wasn't very good with the Mets.
Because the Mets wound up with two useless players.
And I dismantled it as well for the inclusion of OIiver Perez, a pitcher who is hyper-overrated because of one fluke year.
Here's what I wrote on August 16 on Perez:
- But Perez has no hope to be any more than Jose Lima as a part of this club. Why? Because that 2004 season, so oft referenced in Oliver's defense, was an aberration. I'll say it again. It was an aberration.
No question about it. Every single peripheral was a career high for him. His hits and walks rates were the lowest they had ever been; his strikeout rate the highest. He was pitching, during that season, to a ridiculous 6.66 H/9 rate. For reference, Roger Clemens' career rate is 8.16 H/9. Pedro Martinez has a 6.81 career H/9 rate.
In 2004, that number was third in the league to Randy Johnson, one of the all-time greats at limiting hits, and to Jason Schmidt, who was having a year far better than his career rate as well. That could have been used to forecast his decline.
So what to make of Perez's great season? Not all that much really. His next year, obviously a likely decline, was awful. He got shelled, then hurt himself by kicking a laundry cart. Ugh. And people talk about his great arm. The arm isn't that great. It gives up a bunch of walks, a bunch of hits and a bunch of homers.
Oh, you were talking about arm strength? Well, even according to MinorLeagueBall.com, who said that there was hope for Oliver Perez, he isn't throwing as hard as he used to. So don't talk about the pitcher being young when he's deteriorating arm strength-wise at his age.
I'm mad. Dave Littlefield fleeced us. Omar should have gotten a reliable reliver for Nady along with Hernandez like Mike Gonzalez, Salomon Torres or Damaso Marte instead of a futile project like Perez. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Well, Mr. Perez proved to us tonight why he isn't a major-league pitcher. He looked pretty good at first, whiffing a bunch.
But the evidence stands as follows: a pitcher cannot walk everyone he cannot get out. Because at one point, there will be a situation in which a player cannot be walked.
And Ryan Howard happened to be that player. He walloped a home run against Perez that landed over the right centerfield fence. It wasn't surprising.
Throwing that hit out, the start only looks good as far as limiting hits. But somehow people seem to miss the fact that allowing walks is almost as bad as allowing hits.
Perez walked five in five innings of work. He allowed five earned runs. Don't you dare tell me that this somehow was bad luck.
Oliver Perez is by no means as capable a pitcher as Randy Johnson or Pedro Martinez during their primes. And some of the things I read by my blogging colleagues have just incensed me.
A pitcher's ability to limit hits may be a skill, although I come from the school that says a pitcher has no effect on batted balls in play.
However, Oliver Perez does not have that skill. In only one season was he capable of limiting hits to the degree requisite for his success.
His career minor-league hit rate per nine innings? 7.72.
His career major-league hit rate per nine innings? 7.80.
His hit rate during the 2004 season? 6.66.
How fitting. I figure he sold his soul to Satan just so he could limit his hit rate.
If Perez has this innate ability to limit hits, as some of my fellow bloggers have described, why has he only demonstrated it during one single major or minor league season despite pitching since 1999?
"Teach, I know! Call on me! Call on me!"
"IT WAS A FLUKE!"
That season was so obviously a fluke that it made my appendix rupture. Like Nady's.
I believe that pitchers can be fixed of problems. But Perez' reliance on limiting hits forecast a precipitous decline in 2005.
Unfortunately for the Mets, he needs to start trying to pitch and throw strikes rather than just miss bats. Otherwise his 9.00 career ERA as a Met will continue to climb.
Also, I think he might be crazy, what with his not stepping on the home-to-first path during the game.
Feel free to debate me on this one. I'm ready.
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