According to various sources, the Mets are interested in adding Randy Wolf to their 2009 starting rotation.
To me, that’s a nice idea — IF the plan is to make him the #5 starter. His lefthandedness is a big advantage in the NL East, and his veteran status suggests that he’s unlikely to crap the bed. He’s a tough competitor and a battler, which will endear him to New York fans. Finally, he is a complete pitcher — meaning, he does everything from field his position to keeping runners close to placing bunts.
However, if signing Randy Wolf is an alternative to acquiring a #3-type starter — i.e., Derek Lowe, Oliver Perez — then I’m not sure what the Mets’ brass is thinking. Besides not being a middle-rotation guy anymore, Wolf’s injury history is unsettling. He’s suffered both elbow and shoulder injuries during his career, and though he managed 190 IP last season, there’s no guarantee he won’t miss 80 games like he did in 2007.
Unfortunately, this is not the Randy Wolf in his mid-twenties — a young kid with a sharp breaking ball, 90+ heater, and a potential all-star. Rather, this is the Randy Wolf approaching his mid-thirties, age and injuries having robbed speed from his fastball and causing him to hang on to his career by thread. At his absolute best, he might give the Mets a season similar to Steve Trachsel’s days in Flushing — 30 starts, .500 record, somewhere between 160-190 innings. That’s a solid fifth starter, not a #3 on a championship ballclub.
About the Author
Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers.