Turnbow, OPea, and Other Pitching Questions
Supposedly, the Mets are internally considering Derrick Turnbow (hat tip to MetsBlog). As mentioned last week, the Mets have no room for him on their 25-man roster, and considering there are a number of teams in need of arms, it would be surprising to see Turnbow pass through waivers without a claim.
However, if he does clear waivers, and is amenable to spending time in AAA, the Mets would be crazy NOT to consider signing Turnbow. For one, you can never have enough arms — particularly ones that can propel a baseball 95+ and has a 39-save season on his resume. Secondly, if the Mets don’t sign him, there’s a good chance someone else in the NL East does, and we don’t want to see Turnbow turn it around to help the Braves or Phillies — two teams that would look a lot better if they received some bullpen help. Then again, if Turnbow is in fact finished, it might be a good thing for him to be pouring gasoline on fires for those clubs.
Personally, I’d like to see Turnbow signed by the Mets and sent to New Orleans because if he can make a comeback, it gives the team another reason to convert Aaron Heilman back to starting.
Speaking of starting pitching, at some point this evening — and hopefully after midnight — we’ll find out if Oliver Perez is going to be OK this year or if he’s in a dangerous downward spiral. To use a Yogi Berraism, we all know that at least half of Ollie’s issues are 90% mental, and what he needs right now is a strong outing to boost his confidence. Another poor performance could put him into a long-term funk that the Mets can’t afford at the present time.
After a stellar start to begin the 2008 season, Perez has walked 20 batters in his last 23 innings of work, and admitted to not having his best stuff, as well as not knowing what he was doing wrong. Maybe it’s time for Rick Peterson to sketch it out for him.
And while we’re still on the subject of the starters, it has been announced that Mike Pelfrey would not be skipped this week, despite a day off and Pelf’s 1.90 WHIP. Perhaps I’m not seeing what the Mets brass is seeing, or maybe I’m just impatient — you see I have this crazy notion that minor league pitchers should develop their skills in the minors rather than the Majors. The management seems to be clinging to the idea that Pelf’s April 15th, 7-inning performance against the lowly Nationals (second-to-last in the NL in hitting, and 14th in runs scored) is the rule and his other four starts the exception, rather than vice-versa. Though, I can sort of understand the reasoning behind keeping Pelf up for at least another start — it will be against the struggling Reds, who are hitting .250 as a team and are 13th in the NL in runs. That said, Pelfrey should match up OK against them, and a good performance could jack up his confidence a notch.
In related news, Tony Armas, Jr. has a 2.78 ERA for the New Orleans Zephyrs in 6 games and 35 innings, and got through the seventh inning in each of his last two starts. Just throwing it out there.