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Link Roundup

-P- Fans writing in to the Post-Gazette's Q+A are happy.

-P- A few reactions from Braves blogs: Talking Chop (reasonably happy), Sabernomics (mixed feelings), and Rowland's Office (not too happy). The Sabernomics post contains some pretty detailed opinions about LaRoche, by the way:

He is NOT a good defensive player. Those touting him for future gold gloves are either deluded or flat lying. Yeah, he's not Giambi, but, he's not good by any defensive metric out there. And my own perceptions of his play confirm what the stats show.

- He is slow, very slow. Because he is a lefty, he will never be able to play any position other than first...

...[B]ut I think LaRoche's break-out is for real.

I can live with that.

-P- Gotham Baseball has a profile of Oliver Perez that will upset you:

While Perez's overall numbers [with the Mets] were not awe-inspiring, we saw progression in A) his velocity, returning to a consistent 94-95 MPH and touching 97-98, B) the movement on his slider and ability to throw his curveball for strikes, and best of all C) an increase in both his first-pitch strikes and overall number of strikes in each start. It also put to rest any concerns that his problems were injury-related, the number-one killer of young pitching...

[T]he Mets have a pitcher in Perez who possesses raw stuff essentially unequalled among lefty starters in the game today. (Close second? Scott Kazmir. Take a second to breathe.) He is 25 years old. He has shown the ability to pitch as well as anyone in baseball when his mechanics are in place, and not only does he have a pitching coach whose specialty is fixing wayward arms and legs, early results suggest that when the two work together, Perez's delivery problems are solved. One can only imagine what a full spring will do for Perez's approach- not to mention his confidence.