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.