Perez allowed three runs, four hits and two walks in just three innings of work on Tuesday against the Houston Astros. After the game general manager Sandy Alderson, manager Terry Collins, and pitching coach Dan Wathen met and decided to stop considering Perez for a starting pitcher spot. Instead, they only gave him a shot at being a lefty-specialist coming out of the bullpen, according to a team source.
Collins has already named Tim Byrdak as the Mets lefty-specialist, making it more likely that Perez will be released.
Mets CEO Jeff Wilpon previously authorized team management to eat the large salary owed to Perez for the 2011 and team officials look like they will take advantage of the opportunity before the start of the season.
Perez has struggled to live up to the 3-year, $36 million contract he received in February 2009. He has never regained the form he showed in his breakout 15-win season in 2007.
Oliver Perez (c) 2011 afagen/flickr