The end is nigh.
Oliver Perez blew up in epic fashion this afternoon against the Nationals, essentially squashing whatever minimal chance he had to make the Mets’ Opening Day roster out the bullpen.
Perez was originally expected to face left-handed batter Matt Stairs, but Nationals manager Jim Riggleman countered with the righty-hitting Jeff Frazier. In all went downhill from there, as the erratic left-hander gave up back-to-back home runs to Frazier and Brian Bixler. After recording two outs, he walked Roger Bernadina (a lefty batter) and allowed a hard-hit infield single to Danny Espinosa before being pulled from the game. And scene.
Andy Martino of the New York Daily News hears that no move will be made regarding Perez this evening, but it’s pretty clear this “experiment” is over.
As I said on Twitter earlier this afternoon, I now fully expect Perez to meet up with Victor Zambrano and form some sort of heel tag team on the independent wrestling circuit.
Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.
There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.
The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.