UPDATE: The Mets are off the hook with the Oliver Perez DL assignment

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Oliver Perez headshot.JPGUPDATE:  Guess not. Andy Martino reports that Major League Baseball is “comfortable” with the Ollie Perez DL stint and has closed its investigation.  Apparently Perez suffered the most conveniently-timed knee injury in baseball history.

I’m inclined to think that teams abuse the DL for roster management purposes all the time. As far as I know, however, no team has ever gotten busted for it.

Oh well. Stay tuned for Ollie suddenly coming down with a terrible case of Badcontracism sometime soon, necessitating his move to the 60-day DL.

1:17 P.M.: As was reported over the weekend, eyebrows were raised when the Mets put Oliver Perez on the disabled list after a couple of weeks of trying to get him to accept a minor league assignment and at the exact moment his roster slot was needed for Jon Niese’s callup.  We learned on Saturday that MLB was reviewing it, but MLB reviews all roster moves so no biggie, right?

Maybe not.  Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog reports that he has heard from two MLB sources who characterize this as “a serious
investigation,” and that there’s a chance the transaction
gets reversed.

I don’t know what reversing the roster move would really entail. Certainly it would mean the Mets have to place Perez back on the roster and make a corresponding roster move to make room.  It’s doubtful that anything happens as a result of Niese getting  a start that was later adjudged to have been occasioned by an illegal roster move.  We’re probably talking a fine or something.

I’d have to think that if the move was found to be wrongful that the Mets would simply have to DFA Perez, right? I mean how can you keep a guy that you hate so much that you’d cheat the system to be rid of?

Cardinals will bring back Mike Matheny for the 2017 season

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Manager Mike Matheny #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on while the umpires review a call against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the third inning at AT&T Park on September 16, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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The Cardinals went from winning 100 games last season to 82 entering Wednesday evening’s game, and they might not even make the playoffs. Still, the organization will bring back manager Mike Matheny for the 2017 season, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Owner Bill DeWitt, Jr. said, “Mike’s done a really good job for us. There’s no thought that we’re going to go in any different direction.”

GM John Mozeliak also expressed his support, saying, “Mike takes a lot of heat, and I’ve defended him and I will continue to. I really feel like some of the things that we’re dealing with aren’t fair to put on the manager.”

Mozeliak continued, “I do feel like all of us are always held accountable for what we do here, so there’s nobody excluded from that. But having said that, I don’t look at him as someone that we are where we are because of that.”

Matheny has received criticism for his bullpen usage, but the Cardinals have only 15 blown saves as a team, the fourth-lowest total in baseball this season.

Pete Mackanin on Phillies’ bullpen: “Somebody else has to [bleeping] step up.”

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 15: Manager Pete Mackanin #45 of the Philadelphia Phillies makes a pitching change in the eighth inning during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park on June 15, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Blue Jays won 7-2. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
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The Phillies’ bullpen led to yet another loss on Tuesday. Severino Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Joely Rodriguez, and David Hernandez combined to allow six runs in five innings, allowing the Braves to come back and win 7-6 after falling behind 6-0 after the first two innings.

The game prior, the Phillies’ bullpen surrendered 14 runs in four innings in a 17-0 loss to the Mets. The game before that, the bullpen yielded four runs in four innings, nearly squandering the Phillies’ 10-0 lead after four innings. And last Thursday, the Phillies had taken an 8-6 lead in the top of the 11th, but Edubray Ramos served up a walk-off three-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera. It’s been a tough month.

Manager Pete Mackanin ripped the bullpen when speaking to the media after Tuesday’s game. Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:

Neris was going to close for us. I thought about using him with two outs in the eighth. But, at some point, somebody else has to do a (bleeping) job. Somebody else has to (bleeping) step up. In two games now, every reliever I brought in has given up a (bleeping) run. That’s unheard of.

The Phillies currently own the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in baseball at 4.97.  Only the Rockies (5.12), Reds (5.07), and Diamondbacks (4.98) have been worse.

In fairness to the bullpen, aside from Jeanmar Gomez (who lost his job as closer earlier this month) and free agent signee David Hernandez, the bullpen is intentionally comprised of young, inexperienced pitchers as the Phillies are still rebuilding. If the Phillies were aiming for a playoff spot, it would be one thing, but the struggles are to be expected when one throws 24-year-olds into the deep end.