How does being a .500 club for most of last year make this team a contender this year?
PS, I also don’t think it is a given that Perez is better than Mejia.
What it means is we need to get off to a fast start. It's more than given, it's practically a fact. When was the last time a starting pitcher threw 25 innings, was then shut down for the rest of the season with nerve damage to his elbow, then came back the next season and shined on day one. He might be ready sometime, but I bet he starts on the DL, for no other reason than he is out of options, and needs to be handled carefully.