Jul 19, 2010, 3:47 PM EDT
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.
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