I didn't expect to write tonight, but I'm working on the theory here that another blog entry will take my mind off of going back to school tomorrow.
I have it in my head that Oliver Perez is no worse in the Mets' rotation than Steve Trachsel. I'm thinking that, had he pitched for a better team in 2006, Perez's record would not have been 3-13 (2-10 in 15 starts with Pittsburgh). Of course, Steve Trachsel gave up a lot of runs in 2006 as well, but finished with a 15-8 record. Here's how the two compare overall in the 2006 season:
I had to throw in the post-season, because Steve Trachsel failed the Mets horribly in that department, while Perez stepped up big-time. But I digress.
I'm not going to break down each of Perez's 15 starts with Pittsburgh, but I will highlight five:
1) Opening Day, in a 5-2 loss at Milwaukee, Perez gave up one run (earned) in 5-and-a-third innings. He ended up with a no-decision.
2) and 3) In back-to-back starts in May, at Arizona and at home against Houston, Perez got two no-decisions in two very good performances. At Arizona, Perez gave up 0 runs in 6 innings of work, and vs. Houston he gave up 2 runs (both earned) in 8 innings. Pittsburgh lost both games (4-3 and 5-4), and Perez didn't factor in those decisions, as I mentioned.
4) In June, Perez and the Pirates lost to St. Louis 2-1, after a 7-inning, 2-run performance by Perez.
5) In his next start, Perez went 7-and-two-thirds innings against Minnesota, giving up 4 runs, but only 1 was earned, in an 8-2 loss.
Now, it's generous, given the final score of that Minnesota game, but again, we're talking pitching well enough to win on a good team. If you take these five starts, and reverse the outcome, factoring in pitching on a better team, Perez is suddenly 7-8. It doesn't change his awful ERA (6.63 in those Pirates starts), but it shows that having Oliver Perez in your rotation is not a bad thing.
Also consider the fact that with the Pirates, Perez was the number one guy, and often was matched up against the opponents' number one starter. With the Mets this year, he'll get the chance to start anew, and in the back end of the rotation. If he gets off to a good start, and builds up his confidence....maybe that's what he's needed to recapture the flashes he showed early in his career (spotlight on 2004 with Pittsburgh: 12-10 with a 2.99 ERA in 30 starts).
As for Trachsel, I didn't break down his starts like I did Perez's, but having watched nearly all of his starts last year, I KNOW that there are quite a few that could have gone the other way, leaving him with a lot less than 15 wins if he was with a lesser team. (Hello, Baltimore and American League hitters!)
Bottom line - I'm excited to see how Oliver Perez fares this year. If a couple of the Mets' potential starters do as well as they are capable of (Perez, Glavine, maybe one of the young guys like Pelfrey or Humber, or even John Maine), the rotation may not be the problem people are making it out to be.