Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen told me that over the final two months of last season into this spring training camp that Santana has taken on Oliver Perez Oliver Perez as a "special project." According to Warthen, Santana is a tremendous asset in the continuing efforts to get Perez to a) concentrate consistently and b) deliver each pitch with conviction, purpose and accuracy.Santana becomes more and more valuable as time wears on. If Perez, a certified head case, is willing to listen to Santana (and hopefully Warthen), then the Mets may have made a great signing.
"Maybe for the first time in Ollie's life he's ready to listen and Johan is there to help," Warthen said. The Met pitching coach said that Santana's stature and ability to speak to Perez in Spanish help deliver messages that Warthen might have difficulty getting Perez to fully comprehend. "We are mainly talking pitching theory and philosophy, and I think it means something coming from Johan Santana," Warthen said.
If he reverts back to fooling around and changing his delivery at will, then they're due for what they've come to know from Perez.
If Santana can impart just small traces of what he knows and how he handles pitching on Perez, then the Mets are in good shape.