NEW YORK -- After Oliver Perez handled the Yankees' predominantly right-handed batting order on Sunday, Mets manager Jerry Manuel noted Perez's next opponent will be against the Phillies, who are fueled by the left-handed power of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. The turn of the Mets' rotation had Perez starting the first game of the series on Friday night.

But the next time Perez pitches, it'll probably be in a relief role. Pitching coach Dan Warthen has altered the sequence of the Mets' rotation and separated his two left-handed starters, Perez and Johan Santana, by inserting John Maine after Santana and before Perez.

Now Perez is to pitch in relief on Wednesday or Thursday in St. Louis and not start again until Sunday in Philadelphia. In that way, the Mets' rotation for the four-game Phillies series will be Santana, Maine, Perez and Pedro Martinez.