Say, where’s Perry? Not in a good place right now

Ryan Perry tried his best to find his old form this week. He shaved off the hair he had grown out since last offseason to return to the short-haired look he had as a rookie and a collegian. He put in one bullpen session after another to lower his arm angle and get the sinking action he had on his fastball two years ago.

The result Thursday in his first game since the adjustments — four outs, four hits, four runs and a walk — was more frustration for him, and more searching for the Tigers.

“I just don’t think his command’s real good right now,” manager Jim Leyland said after the game. “He’s really struggling. My heart aches for him.”

It’s a real problem for the Tigers. Much like Joaquin Benoit and the eighth inning, the Tigers need an effective Perry to help provide some order to the bullpen in the seventh. He has the best combination of experience and stuff of the guys they have in middle relief, with the potential for more. Alberto Alburquerque and Daniel Schlereth can cover the seventh, but they’re also going to have their growing pains, as they’ve shown.

Problem is, Perry is a third-year pro at age 22, and he’s having serious growing pains, too.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” he said. “I’ve never really dealt with this my whole life, so to do it at this level, it’s tough. But you have to push it out of your head and come out tomorrow and be ready to work.”

He looked like he was searching for the right arm slot from one batter to the next Thursday. When he had it right, he made some nasty pitches with good velocity. When he was off, his pitches flattened out.

“Same old stuff, just really not feeling comfortable in my delivery and my mechanics right now,” Perry said. “I think that’s just a big factor playing in my head right now.”

The question the Tigers have to answer in a hurry is whether he can get those questions out of his head and fix his mechanics in Detroit, like the more experienced Benoit did, or whether it’s going to take a trip to Toledo. If the latter is the answer, they might have to take the loss of depth as an investment in his future.

The Tigers have a couple roster moves looming, with Andy Oliver coming up for his start Saturday and Brad Thomas due back from the disabled list at some point. Those moves will likely say plenty about how the Tigers see Perry learning and correcting.

17 Comments

The Tigers have a handfull of guys who need to be sent to Toledo for some re-tooling.
–Mike
‘Minoring In Baseball’

Management does not seem to be able to evaluate MLB ready talent. Yes, we’ve had some wins but have been seriously off the mark on Sizemore, Gonzalez, Weinhardt, Rhymes, to name only a few.
We will certainly see more experiments in the bullpen.

I think some of these pitchers have been rushed to the big leagues but what’s done is done. Perry doesn’t get near enough game action, with good reason, but he needs to pitch in games, even if at Toledo. He needs better mechanics and more confidence. They probably should have gone after one more experienced reliever and that can still be done. I still have the impression that management relied too much on a healthy Zumaya, all official statements to the contrary. This team is just a couple tweaks away from being good.

I agree that, in hindsight, Perry was rushed. I also agree that he was one of the seven best relievers in camp as a rookie in 2009. Remember, Juan Rincon made that bullpen out of spring training. As for Zumaya, the Tigers were geared towards getting him back at some point, not necessarily on opening day. They were certainly geared towards having either Zumaya or Perry effective enough to handle the seventh inning.

relying on Zumaya?? Please…

Same front office that resigned Brandon Inge, Magglio Ordonez and the same front office that is keeping Jim Leyland.

That’s right, taking Perry north did make sense at the time so what I said is in hindsight. I was impressed myself with his ability to spot the ball low and on the corners that spring. However, perhaps the club shouldn’t paint itself into such a tight corner on bullpen staff. I do know that money was tight that spring.
The Zumaya case, unfortunately, is not hindsight. I said for years that a man can’t throw a ball with that delivery. I mean, this is a guy who broke his arm throwing a baseball, for heaven’s sake. I just never expected him to recover and hoped that this spring the club would assume he wouldn’t be available and plan accordingly. If he did make it back, icing on the cake. He hasn’t made it back and now we’ve put everything on Perry, who’s performances have been spotty for three years. We really need one more fairly reliable arm. Not lights out, just reliable. That’s if we’re planning to contend this season, of course.

I think Perry has a chance of getting straightened around. He indeed may be more valuable as a trading chip though. Good arm and at times, nice stuff. Too often lays it right down the pipe. Hasn’t found the balance of throwing strikes but quality strikes not pipe shots. Hard to do when you know you are being evaluated as a strike thrower and that bases on balls are taboo.
Perry has also had to deal with expectations to fil a niche.
I wish him the best but I don’t think it will be in Detroit.

The Tigers have a glut of fringe outfielders and pitchers due to aggressive drafting in recent years. I agree that a few tweaks are needed to push us over the top. Shoring up the bullpen and getting one more reliable stick could do the trick. Let’s make a move to make us better! Eat em up Tigers.

Traded Sizemore for David Purcey? That’s the best we could get for Polanco’s replacement?

Purcey’s another lefty…Wilk, Furbush, Coke, Thomas, Purcey, Schlereth, Oliver…suddenly, we’re flush with lefties. How does the pen sort out now with few righties and Perry scuffling?

Opps, posted on the other thread…. Tigers did not promote Rhymes to take Sizemore’s spot. Instead brought up Worth.

2nd baseman of the future is now gone. Why Worth over Rhymes? Better yet why just David Purcey?

if Sizemore had played better defense, he’d still be around. guess they figured he was unlikely to develop much further in that area which would limit his potential to be an everyday guy.

Sizemore leaving will be one to keep an eye on. He is a ballplayer and he will find his niche. Not sure why we would go after a leftey as top heavy with southpaws as we are and with Coke ready to stabilize the bullpen if need be.
In my mind we had the tools to develop a bullpen. What we need is a a proven, good hitting 3B or left fielder.
I hope I am wrong but Sizemore has way more upside than Purcey.

Tonight the Tigers are continuing in the Man vs Boy theme. Porcello’s reluctance to attack the strike zone has reared up and bit him. I hope he learns something from this.
What do we do about 2B? I don’t think Carlos is close to coming back so are they going to limp along with Raburn or give Santiago a shot?

BTW–as to Sizemore’s D—the guy can make some great plays going to his left. To his right is a whole other story and the relays on the DP shows signs of fear and apprehension. He will improve—not for us. Our starting 2B (what a joke that whole charade was) of 2010 is no more.
Shame on the DD for the whole Polanco/Sizemore episode.
He did nothing right in this affair.

I like Jhonny but that is an error.

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