Sunday, August 20, 2006

Oliver Twist
By Ben Valentine

Tonight at AAA Norfolk, 25 year old lefty Oliver Perez posted a line of:

7 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 11 K, 0 ER, 94 pitches, 59 strikes.

Why is this important? Because of the news breaking late Saturday night/early Sunday morning: ESPN reports Tom Glavine has an unknown ailment in his shoulder which is causing numbness in his pitching hand. What this injury will do to the lefty’s season is unknown at this point because they’re not quite sure what he has.

In the short term, Brian Bannister should be recalled once his rehab stint is finished this week. In the long term, especially if Pedro Martinez is out for any length of time, the call may go to Perez, especially after putting together back to back solid performances for Norfolk.

So to Perez, Bannister, Orlando Hernandez, Steve Trachsel and John Maine; the fight for a spot in the postseason might have just become a bit more wide open. And for the Mets, their chances for the World Series just grew a bit murkier as well.

Out of those candidates, none look all that appealing. But there’s no question the one with the highest upside is Perez. With two encouraging starts underneath his belt, the Mets would be wise to give him a look, if not now then in September. (They could use Glavine’s roster spot to stick him on the postseason roster if Glavine is out for the year). It’s a long shot, but wouldn’t it be quite a twist if that Perez, who by most accounts was acquired just to be traded for Scott Linebrink before that deal fell through, became the guy who saved the Mets rotation?

Stranger things have happened.

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