Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mets need to find rotational depth

Photo by Michael Baron
Rotational depth was my concern this spring; it seems like every year the team signs some journeyman pitcher who has had a degree of success in the majors.  From Brian Lawrence to Freddy Garcia, just like every other team they add depth.  This year the Mets went even more modest then in past years, assigning the extra starters roles to Miguel Batista, Jeremy Hefner and Chris Schwinden.

For a few spot starts you could probably live with the results, especially if your expectations were for Matt Harvey or Jeurys Familia to be ready for the jump. But with Mike Pelfrey out for the year and the youngsters having there struggles the Mets can't stand pat...

Chris Schwinden with an 11.25 ERA, BAA .325 and only 8 innings in two miserable starts, not only does he look over matched at the major league level but he's taxing an already struggling pen.

Miguel Batista looks more like the aging pitcher who was cut by the Cards then the rejuvenated pitcher who threw a gem in Sept.  In his last two appearances in which he pitched 2.2 innings he has walked four and given up three hits both times.  Batista is pitching to a 6.94 ERA and should be losing playing time, not gaining.

Jeremy Hefner might be the best option and that's telling in itself, prior to the three innings he pitched for the Mets earlier this season he had not been above AAA and had a 4.10 ERA in two seasons at that level.  Hefner has a solid 1.64 ERA in Buffalo over five starts and threw three shut out innings in his one spot start.

I would be looking for a guy like Jeff Frances who accepted assignment to the Reds AAA team, is pitching to a 3.30 ERA and can opt out before June 1st according to the new CBA.

I haven't forgotten about Chris Young I hope he returns to the pitcher we saw for three starts last year but I also know that the injury he is recovering from is mired with set backs and is a lengthy process.

"Hef, what did he give up, two hits today?" Bisons manager Wally Backman said. "He got a little taste of the big leagues, and he knows what he has to do to try to get back to the big leagues. He's a very determined young man." source MiLB

“One of the things we brought Miguel Batista in for was not just to be a bullpen guy, but if we needed a spot starter anytime he was the guy to do it,’’ manager Terry Collins said before the Mets’ 5-4 loss to the Diamondbacks Friday night. “We saw last year how effective he can be in that role, so we just said as we wait to see how Chris Young comes along we brought him here so if we needed a starter he was here. We just thought we’ve got to get a look at him in that spot.’’ source NY Post