Oliver Perez ended his disastrous season on a fitting note yesterday, coming into a 1-1 game in the 14th inning, striking out the first batter he faced, hitting the second batter he faced, and then handing out three straight walks, the last of which forced in the game-winning run with the bases loaded.
Now, in fairness to Perez it was literally his first appearance in four weeks and he pitched in just three of the Mets’ final 57 games. And in fairness to the Mets, he finished the season 0-5 with a 6.80 ERA and more walks (42) than strikeouts (37) in 46 innings.
Perez told reporters afterward that he plans to pitch winter ball in Mexico and wants to return to the Mets:
I do want to come back here. I need to prove to the people that I can be the pitcher I was before. They boo because I’m not pitching good. When you don’t do the job, that’s what they’re going to do.
Obviously the Mets would love to part with Perez, but they owe him $12 million for next season and he’s been so bad that simply eating a big chunk of that salary probably won’t convince another team to take him off their hands. They may have to eat basically the entire $12 million. And it might be worth it.
During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.
We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:
And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:
The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.
Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.
Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.
Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.
Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.