Oliver Perez buys himself some time, but the end is nigh

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Yesterday we heard that if Oliver Perez had another bad outing that he could have been run out of town on a rail.  So lucky for him he didn’t have another bad outing. In fact, he had a darn good one: two scoreless innings, no walks and more strikes than balls. It probably bought him another start.

But it probably didn’t save his skin. Andy Martino reports that Perez is still probably a dead man walking as far as the Mets are concerned:

While Oliver Perez remains officially in the rotation competition, the Mets have decided internally that he will not be a starter during the regular season, sources say, and the team remains likely to release its $36 million pitcher before Opening Day. But Perez probably pitched well enough Thursday to earn another Grapefruit League appearance.

Really: what’s the point of giving him another start if he’s not going to be on the team? There are a finite number of innings to be doled out during spring training. Why not give them to someone who might actually benefit the Mets in 2011?

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.