PHOENIX - Oliver Perez was in Arizona Monday, but the Mets were keeping him at arm's length, and how he performs in today's audition for pitching coach Dan Warthen at Chase Field is likely to determine his fate.
If the Mets like what they see from Perez, despite lukewarm reports from Triple-A Buffalo he could be activated from the disabled list this week. But if he continues to show a lack of velocity or appears to be favoring a knee or shoulder, the Mets could start him on another 30-day clock.
Perez last pitched Saturday, for Buffalo, in his fourth rehab start since being placed on the DL June 5 with right knee tendinitis. Assistant GM John Ricco said if Perez does not make another start during this seven-day stretch, that would enable the Mets to extend his rehab stint.
"Our plan was we wanted to see him make four starts, and then we would assess at that point," Ricco said. "I think he's done that and he's progressed certainly from A ball to Triple-A and then a successful outing the other day. We're at the point in time where the major-league staff wants to take a look at him and see if he's ready."
Ricco declined to elaborate on the scouting reports from Buffalo, but he did his best to put a positive spin on the matter. Manager Jerry Manuel didn't sound as eager to see Perez when asked why the pitcher was here.
"I think there's a certain time frame that he agreed to and I think that's over," Manuel said.
Major League Baseball will review Sunday's incidents involving Francisco Rodriguez and umpire Phil Cuzzi and Henry Blanco's inflammatory comments. But a person familiar with the situation said it's likely that no punishment will be handed out as MLB is satisfied to "move on" after the ugly events of the ninth inning . . . Ruben Tejada was demoted when Luis Castillo was activated. The Mets kept Justin Turner for his versatility and also did not want Tejada to be without consistent playing time.