Mets players want Oliver Perez gone

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Oliver Perez mopes.jpgNews flash: Oliver Perez is having a pretty terrible year. He has walked 32 dudes in 26 innings against only 29 strikeouts and has an ERA of 6.25. His demotion to the bullpen hasn’t helped anyone either, with his latest performance coming Saturday against the Brewers when he gave up three runs just as the Mets started to rally themselves.

Now two anonymous Mets players are telling the New York Post’s Mike Puma that they want Ollie gone:

“You tell him you go to Triple-A or that’s it, you are finished,” one
Mets player said, well aware that Perez is still owed about $20 million
on the three-year contract he signed before the 2009 season.

A
second Mets player echoed that line of thinking.

“At some point you have to cut bait,” he said. “You owe him a lot of
money, but for what?”

The need for the ultimatum, of course, is that as a veteran in the middle of a big multi-year contract, Ollie must give his permission before accepting a minor league assignment, and Scott Boras clients just don’t do that. What they do do, however, is leave the team once they’re designated for assignment, because they have no choice.  Likewise it seems like the Mets have little choice but to do the designating.

Perez is terrible, there’s nowhere to hide him and he has lost the confidence of his teammates and his manager. Indeed, Puma asked Jerry Manuel when, exactly, he’d consider using Ollie. Manuel’s answer: “That’s really a tough question. [Maybe] extra innings or
something like that, but it’s going to be tough to find spots for him.” The response to that by one of the anonymous players:

“What, we need another 20-inning game and then use him after we’ve used
all our pitchers and if a position player’s sinker isn’t biting?”

Wow. It’s one thing to have a useless player on the team. It’s another thing to have a useless player who is being openly mocked by his teammates. $20 million is a lot of money to flush down the toilet, but it’s time for the Mets to do it.

Video: Max Scherzer sets record with 13-strikeout outing

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Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.

More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.

Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)

It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.

Twins’ top prospect Nick Burdi will undergo Tommy John surgery

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Twins’ right-hander Nick Burdi is set to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, the team announced on Friday. Burdi made 14 appearances for Double-A Chattanooga before succumbing to a torn ulnar collateral ligament and is not expected to make his major league debut until mid-2018 at the earliest. A UCL tear doesn’t always require Tommy John surgery — less severe cases can be treated with platelet-rich plasma injections, for example — but Twins’ chief baseball officer Derek Falvey told the press that surgery was unavoidable as Burdi had sustained a “full thickness tear” in his elbow.

Entering the 2016 season, Burdi was widely considered a top ten prospect in the Twins’ system. His exceptional velocity and potent fastball-slider combo made him a fearsome relief option as he came off of his first season in Double-A Chattanooga in 2015. During the 2016 season, however, the 24-year-old experienced a significant setback after a bone bruise cut his season short in late July. Prior to Friday’s diagnosis, he appeared to be staging an impressive comeback with the Chattanooga Lookouts this spring, decorating his efforts with a sparkling 0.53 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.6 SO/9 over 17 innings.

It’s a tough break for the Twins, whose farm system was ranked 21st in the league by Baseball America. “Obviously he’s proven when he’s healthy he’s an absolute premium prospect, and the Twins are treating him that way,” Burdi’s agent, Matt Sosnick, told Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press. “We just want to make sure everything we do ultimately leads to the goal of getting him back on the field as quickly as he can.”