Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Johan can't start everyday...

First and foremost, tonight it was a great game and I want to compliment them, despite the loss for an extremely hard fought game. The positional players aren't going to be the issue, this team is going to hit but it's going to be a matter of whether they can out produce what this pitching staff gives up.


The Mets have not acquired a #2 pitcher since Johan Santana came to this team. For three seasons now we have been told that this group of starters has a track record or the potential to be equal or be better then who they could have acquired. We are constantly reminded of when Ollie and Maine won 15 games and Pelfrey was the #1 pick.

Omar keeps throwing those facts in our face and we bite because every once in a while these three show us a flash of what they were and what they could be, but the fact is they have more of a negative track record then they do a positive.

Perez has more of a track record as a wildly inconsistent pitcher then he has as that 15 game winner, in 8 seasons he's only touched double digit wins three times and since 2006 his ERA is 5.52.

Maine is a five inning pitcher, having him on the team in combination with Ollie has killed the bullpen. Since coming to the Mets he has made 87 starts for a total of 500 innings which is an average of 5.75 innings per start. In addition his ERA has increase each year and now his velocity is on the decline and it really appears he's had one too many injuries.

Pelfrey has the most potential of any of them and I still believe that Mike will be a top of the rotation pitcher, but after a year in which he clearly buckled under the pressure, he would have been someone I put at the back end of the rotation with more reliable pitchers in front of him and then let him surprise me.

The funny thing is, that if you signed or traded for any of these three depending on what you gave up, you would be please to have grabbed them. It's not the individual pitchers it's the combination of the three, combined with the fact that they've been together for three straight years without an infusion of another quality veteran starter.

I thought it was huge mistake each and every year not to sign another starter, whether it was Kyle Lohse in '08', Derek Lowe '09' or Joel Pineiro this year. It wasn't about whether they had the potential to be better it was about bringing more consistency to the rotation and changing the dynamics.

As I raised concerns this spring about this rotation I kept getting the same mantra, it's spring training these numbers mean nothing. My argument was and has been that we already have a track record on these pitchers and they needed to show something this spring to instill confidence that they had made the adjustments to live up to their potential. Instead they got beat-up the entire spring and we're left to hope that by some miracle they could flip a switch to start the season.

Well the season has started and Maine gave us exactly what he did this spring and for the past three seasons. Five innings in which at times he blew away hitters and others he struggled. I know someone will say, it's early, just as they said it was only spring training but at some point you have to admit you just don't have the horses. Hopefully they prove me wrong or the offense can out slug the rotations mistakes but while many are talking about Tatis, Matthews and Jacobs in tonight's loss, I'm more concerned with Maine giving up four in five innings.