Starting rotation, bullpen, disabled list. That's been Oliver Perez's strange journey. Before he could pitch an inning as a reliever, the Mets decided to have him take an MRI, which revealed a knee problem. In a New York Post article, Perez is quoted as saying that "The knee has been bothering me all season." What's unclear is how long the Mets knew about the injury.
Perez's placement on the DL triggered Ken Takahashi's return to the bullpen and the recall of Jonathan Niese from Buffalo. Unfortunately, Niese hasn't been burning up the International League. In five starts, his ERA is 6.55, which placed him #13 among the team's 14 pitchers. Casey Fossum, another lefty, has pitched much better for the Bisons, but for reasons only the Mets managements seems privy to, they decided to recall Niese.
If Tim Redding continues to pitch in Triple-A as well as he did yesterday (six innings, six hits, one earned run), Niese should be back in Buffalo before the month's over.