Pitching Options (None)

In Adam Rubin’s column today, it was suggested that the Mets might shake up the starting pitching rotation, and/or consider adding an eighth reliever to fit the role of long man:

Manuel mentioned after the Mets’ fourth straight loss that the club may be forced to add an eighth reliever, to guard against overworking the current bullpen with the starting pitchers not going deep enough into games.

Hmm … who might the Mets have who can fill that role?

His name WAS Nelson Figueroa, but the Mets were so unimpressed with his “quality start” last Sunday that they waived him. He’s now a free agent, as miffed and offended by the move as anyone else.

Tim Redding remains injured, though he recently threw in an extended spring training game (whatever that is) and is scheduled to do so again this weekend. His target date for return is about two weeks from now … we wait with bated breath.

Similarly, Freddy Garcia is still getting himself into shape. He gave up six hits, three walks, a homer, and three earned runs in his first start in Buffalo the other day. You know things are bad when that outing can be described as “encouraging”.

And before you ask, I’ll tell you: Jonathan Niese has an ERA close to 9, and has pitched only 12 innings in his first three starts. Dillon Gee is 0-2, averaging five innings per start. Elmer Dessens has been working out of the bullpen. Brandon Knight’s ERA is 6.55. In fact, the best two starters in Buffalo were Figueroa and Casey Fossum. Every starter at Binghamton is averaging less than five innings per start, so there’s no help coming from there, either. Bradley Holt? Maybe some day, but not anytime soon — his ERA is 8.38 and it’s taken him two games to pitch nine innings. If the Mets want to upgrade the pitching staff immediately, it will have to be someone outside the organization.

Could Pedro Martinez return? As much as I’d like to see it, I doubt it will happen. The Mets and Omar Minaya would have to swallow a huge, distasteful pill of pride to bring him back. Plus,considering their desperation, would have to oblige Pedro’s $5M demand — assuming the price hasn’t gone up in the last 24 hours.

Similarly, a trade seems iffy — at least, a trade for something better than someone else’s junk. Starting pitchers — even mediocre ones — are at a premium, and the best the Mets have to offer in return is Ryan Church. With Gary Sheffield around, that’s not an impossibility, but it’s hard to guess what Church might fetch, since most teams are set in the outfield.

It’s “grin and bear it” time, folks.

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. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. hdarvick April 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm
    His name could still be “Nelson Figueroa.” Can’t the Mets sign him as a free agent?
  2. sincekindergarten April 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm
    Somehow, I doubt that Figgy signs with the Mets as an FA.
  3. isuzudude April 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm
    Agreed, SK. Unless Figueroa is a glutton for punishment, I see his chances of returning to the Mets as slim to none.
  4. wohjr April 24, 2009 at 7:03 pm
    Sad to see figgy go.

    Joe or anyone else– OT:

    Is there a list of the intro songs that each met has picked? I would have so much more fun with this than the players do… changing all year, etc. A player DJ! Thoughts?

  5. joe April 24, 2009 at 10:12 pm
    wohjr – I’ve often looked for lists of intro songs, and no complete list seems to exist. However, I’ve received enough email requests on the subject that I’ll keep trying to find something, and post it when I do.

    As for Figgy, he is obviously the perfect fit, but after refusing the demotion, it’s hard to imagine him changing his mind — the Mets have hurt his pride. I’m hoping someone else picks him up and he flourishes, because I truly feel the Mets did not properly value him nor respect his skills at any point this year.

  6. Murph April 25, 2009 at 12:45 am
    Re: entrance music: although tempting, I will stick to the subject of this post.

    Re: pitching.
    It depends on whether or not you want to place a comma in the following sentence:
    A. Change the pitching, coach.
    B. Change the pitching coach.

    Or C. both.

  7. hdarvick April 25, 2009 at 8:05 am
  8. isuzudude April 25, 2009 at 10:12 am
    Wow, so much for slim to none chance. I guess Figgy gets a kick out of being dragged around by the nose by this team.
  9. 2009 Analysis: Darren O’Day : Mets Today October 26, 2009 at 7:32 am
    […] Fittingly, less than a week after O’Day was DFA’d (and Figueroa demoted), Jerry Manuel was talking about adding an eighth reliever to the bullpen, which he felt was being ove…. […]