Assuming the worst — that Pedro Martinez will be out for a significant period of time — what are the Mets options for the starting rotation?
Orlando Hernandez is already down until mid-April, and no one’s convinced he’ll be healthy or effective when (if?) he returns. Mike Pelfrey still hasn’t shown a second Major League pitch — and there’s some dispute that he has one.
When pressed for an alternative to Pedro, manager Willie Randolph spat out the name Figueroa first. We’re assuming he means Nelson Figueroa as opposed to his ex-teammate Ed Figueroa — though right now I’d take either.
We’ve been addressing the starting pitching depth all spring … and winter … and yet the best the Mets can come up with is Nelson Figueroa — with Brian Stokes next in line. Yikes!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Figgy and hope he can surprise some folks. But an overachieving Nelson Figueroa is not enough to get the Mets through a full season.
Here’s what’s left after Figueroa:
1. Brian Stokes (?)
2. Adam Bostick
3. Jonathan Niese
4. Bobby Parnell ?
Jorge Sosa might be a consideration, had he and not Pelfrey been given the temporary #5 slot in the rotation and Steven Register kept in the bullpen (rather than returned to the Rockies). I suppose Sosa could still be a starter, with Ricardo Rincon or Stokes or Figgy brought up for bullpen depth — but it’s still a shell game, in that you slide one strength over by weakening another.
It’s time to sign someone — anyone. Jeff Weaver? Horacio Ramirez? Robinson Tejeda (for you, Mic)? Heck, let’s get the national anthem auditioners on the mound and see what they can do.