|Think the Mets are regretting this signing?
After tons of speculation about what the Mets would do with Oliver Perez after he posted an ugly 9.97 ERA and 20/21 K/BB ratio through five starts, the struggling left-hander was demoted to the bullpen Monday. Perez cleared the path for a trip to the disabled list by mentioning some right knee soreness, but rather than send him to the DL and then a rehab stint the Mets will hope mop-up work can fix him.
Ken Takahashi will replace Perez in the rotation, but the 40-year-old lefty worked out of the bullpen at Triple-A after being cut by Toronto this spring and isn't likely to be anything resembling a long-term solution. Takahashi does have experience as a starter in Japan, but his 71 strikeouts and 42 walks in 115.2 innings spread over 20 starts there last season aren't very encouraging.
Perez certainly earned the demotion by allowing opponents to bat .315/.442/.506 off him in 115 plate appearances, but you'd think that the Mets might have a little more patience given that he's had plenty of stretches like this one previously and was re-signed to a three-year, $36 million deal all of 90 days ago. Hell, Perez led the NL with 105 walks last season and had a 6.58 ERA in his final five starts.
While Perez moves to the bullpen for the first time since his 2000 rookie season, here are some other notes from around baseball ...
* Zack Greinke was dominant again Monday, hurling a complete-game shutout of the White Sox to become baseball's first six-game winner. Greinke struck out 10 and walked zero while scattering six hits, improving to 6-0 with a ridiculous 0.40 ERA and 54/8 K/BB ratio in 45 innings. Better yet, going back to the final two starts last year he's 8-0 while allowing two earned runs in 59 innings (0.31 ERA).
* Carlos Zambrano left Sunday's start after five innings with a strained hamstring suffered while trying to beat out an infield hit, and was placed on the disabled list Monday. He's expected to miss 2-3 weeks after beginning the season 3-1 with a 4.50 ERA and 33/14 K/BB ratio in 38 innings. Randy Wells looks likely to replace Zambrano in the rotation Friday, but has a 4.32 ERA in 306 innings at Triple-A.
* Alex Rodriguez played seven innings at third base and homered Monday in an extended spring training game, leading manager Joe Girardi to speculate that he may come off the disabled list as early as Friday. "So much of it just depends on how he feels and when he believes he's ready to go," Girardi explained. "When he feels that he's ready, we're probably going to take him back."
AL Quick Hits: Francisco Liriano picked up his first win of the season Monday by striking out nine and holding the Tigers to two runs over 7.2 innings … According to manager Ozzie Guillen, Jermaine Dye (hand) may rejoin the lineup as soon as Tuesday … Brandon Morrow (biceps) didn't think he should have been placed on the disabled list to begin with and hopes to return when eligible Saturday … Julio Lugo was benched Monday in favor of Nick Green and Boston could stick to that arrangement indefinitely … Called up Monday from Triple-A, Alfredo Aceves may emerge as a sleeper for the Yankees if they give him an extended look … Eric Patterson got just two games to prove himself despite the A's banged-up infield, moving back to the minors Monday … According to manager Dave Trembley, the Orioles' closer situation will be decided on a "day-by-day" basis between George Sherrill and Chris Ray.
NL Quick Hits: Carlos Beltran homered twice Monday and is now batting an even .400 on the year … Chris Carpenter (oblique) played catch Monday and hopes to throw off a mound later this week … Sunday's rainout gave him some extra time to rest, so Cole Hamels (ankle) is scheduled to make his next start Friday … Bill Hall started Monday's game in left field for the injured Ryan Braun, but left with a hamstring problem of his own … Meanwhile, Braun (back) is hoping to rejoin the lineup Tuesday … Already removed from ninth-inning duties, Manny Corpas may be in danger of heading to Triple-A … David Wright had a homer and a double Monday, perhaps snapping out of his power slump … Rick Ankiel was carried off the field on a stretcher Monday night after crashing into the outfield wall, but was able to give the thumbs-up sign while leaving … Ryan Zimmerman extended his hitting streak to 22 games with a 4-for-4 effort Monday.