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Oliver Perez has met his enemy-the WBC Classic.

By Frank Barone- Metsmix writer

The latest worry about the Mets starting rotation is Oliver Perez, coming back from the WBC classic, out of shape and with reduced velocity. Since arriving via trade from Pittsburgh, we Met fans have come to expect the inconsistency of Perez. Perez was given a new three year $36 million contract in the off season after going 10-7 with a 4.22 ERA for the Mets last season.

It seems without pitching coach Dan Warthen and manager Jerry Manuel overseeing Perez, he has regressed to his bad traits and sloppy regimen. For his Mets spring training results, Oliver Perez has thrown 8 2-3 innings and his latest outing he gave up six runs, five hits and six walks in 3 2-3 innings against Detroit. Perez’s latest comments were he was working different in the WBC Classic. He didn't do PFP (pitcher's fielding practice) and all the exercises they do here. You just run and go to the stadium and pitch.

You would expect an experienced major league pitcher to have a regimen to strictly follow to maximize his productivity and results. Maybe we could expect a newly married Perez, in late 2008, would show the added maturity to take his pitching to the next level.

Perez pitched two times in 19 days for Mexico in the Classic. His total innings pitched was approximately six innings, by far not enough to build up the arm strength and conditioning he needs to start the Mets season.

So now it is up to Dan Warthen to try to get Perez on the fast track to be ready to start on April 9th in Cincinnati. The winner by a knockout over Oliver Perez- the WBC classic.


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