Oliver Perez as a 'lefty-on-lefty specialist' might actually work

Leave a comment

Jerry Manuel said yesterday that when Oliver Perez returns from the disabled list–possibly as soon as this week–the Mets plan to use him as a situation left-handed reliever. Or as Manuel phrased it, a “lefty-on-lefty specialist.”
Setting aside the unpleasant thought of paying someone $12 million per season to fill such a limited role, I actually think Perez could be a pretty good fit if spotted primarily against left-handed hitters (and in low-leverage situations, at least initially).
Obviously throwing strikes is crucial in any role and that makes Perez a big question mark regardless of how the Mets deploy him, but he held left-handed hitters to a .185 batting average even while struggling overall this season and from 2007-2009 lefties hit just .183 with a .268 on-base percentage and .304 slugging percentage in 450 plate appearances versus Perez.

Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

9 Comments

The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.