Courtesy of Adam Rubin of the Daily News, we have some video of Oliver Perez throwing today at Mets camp.
Obviously, first day of camp, but he looks good. Metsblog opined that he looks "more balanced," which I agree with.
Part of my optimism for Ollie's recovery has to do with the way I feel about last year's injury. Injuries to pitchers do not faze me at all unless they are to the arm or if they somehow linger. Knee, leg, back, foot -- so long as it can be 100% fixed, I don't mind them at all. Why?
Let's face it -- the human body was never intended to throw a baseball. It's awful for the elbow, it's hell on the shoulder. Even if you do it perfectly, it wears you down and frays your tendons and makes a mess of you. When a pitcher is injured, however, he can't do any of that harmful stuff.
I feel that when a pitcher is injured with something not arm-related, they can spend more time honing the other parts of their craft which need honing. They can do yoga, study tape, lift weights, do endurance running -- whatever aspect of their game needs work aside from ACTUALLY throwing the baseball.
So to me, I see an injury like Ollie's as an opportunity for a guy with a great arm but with awful mechanics (plant foot terrible, falling off toward third) to be able to work on his strength, conditioning, flexibility, and technique.
Hopefully, he was able to do that over the last eight months or so and come back better equipped to perform this season. Of course -- the throwing the baseball is the most important part. But I'm glad that he was able to avoid doing that for half a year, and maybe he will come back stronger than ever.