Mets left-hander Oliver Perez heaved four innings of hitless baseball during Sunday’s 9-1 Grapefruit League victory over the Tigers. He desperately needed a strong outing after allowing seven hits and five runs in his spring debut, and manager Jerry Manuel acknowledged to the New York Post afterward that Perez is beginning to look a bit more locked-in.
“I see a better focus with Ollie,” Manuel said. “I see between starts
there is an effort, a conscious effort, what we’re seeing now with Ollie
is that Ollie has had some revelations of his own mechanics, and that’s
Perez, 28, posted an ugly 6.82 ERA and 1.92 WHIP in 14 starts last season for the Mets while battling a knee injury. He’s been clocked in the 90-91 MPH range this spring.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”
Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.
Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.