The Mets 2010 Starting Rotation

NY Sports Day reported this from the “21 Days of Clemente”, where Omar Minaya was a special guest:

The GM was asked his opinion of the 2010 Mets starting rotation. He quickly answered, “[Johan] Santana, [Mike] Pelfrey, [John] Maine, [Oliver] Perez , [Jonathon] Niese and possibly a free agent.”

Though it wasn’t an official press event, and there is still time for the Mets to upgrade their rotation, seeing that in print is something of a splash of cold water in the face.

Think about it: the Mets’ starting rotation currently consists of four pitchers coming off injuries and/or surgery. One of their backup plans — Fernando Nieve — is also recovering from a major injury and surgery.

This may not seem like a big deal until you look back to the past few years, and remember the pitchers coming off injury that the Mets counted on. For example: Duaner Sanchez, John Maine, Orlando Hernandez, Scott Schoeneweis, Dave Williams, and Pedro Martinez. In fact, the only pitcher that comes to mind who had “minor surgery” and pitched effectively the next season was Aaron Heilman (elbow scoped after the 2006 season). Not a good history, and history is supposed to shed light on the future.

Keeping a rotation intact through an MLB season is enough of a crapshoot when you begin with relatively healthy arms, but in the Mets case, they’re counting on 4 or 5 men to a) come back from surgery on schedule; b) come back at 100%; c) return to their form prior to the injury; d) avoid any setbacks; and e) keep their stamina through a 162-game schedule.

Anyone else have doubts?

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. isuzudude December 28, 2009 at 6:10 pm
    In other words, the Mets are asking for a miracle. Their offseason plan has finally been revealed and it doesn’t include opening the pocketbook (as had been suggested by the Wilpons), nor does it include creative trades or rebuilding. No, the plan is to do virtually nothing, with regards to fortifying the future or present, and just pray everyone is healthy and has a career year. It sounds like they’re still crossing their fingers that the “cavalry” will return and lead them all to glory. Wow, that must have taken this team’s brass all of about 15 minutes to conjer up this past October. You gotta figure, that plan worked so well for the team in 2009, why not just go with what works in 2010, too.
  2. Harry Chiti December 28, 2009 at 7:21 pm
    On the other hand what can he say when he hasn’t made any moves? He can’t say Joe X is going to be in his rotation when Joe isn’t on the roster. The statement doesn’t lock into concrete that there were and are no plans to make changes. The plan may have failed, the plan may still be in process or the plan was to keep the rotation as is. There is no proof in this statement to anything. operator Herb
  3. Mike December 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm
    I expect a turnaround season from Pelfrey. I expect Santana to be back to form for the most part. I expect Niese to stay healthy and contribute to the team for 15-20 starts. Maine and Perez are the big question marks. I think Ollie is paid enough money to start until he proves a liability again this year. I hope and believe he will go back to 2007/2008 form. Maine for me is the problem. He simply put is on his way out. I think he will get hurt again in 2010 and be ineffective before he does. Nieve will be okay for a time but not establish himself as a regular starter, so perhaps the bullpen he can find a role in.

    So if Maine is the one guy we can’t rely on then sign Piniero and Sheets and hope Sheets can be the 5th starter and hope Piniero will warrant being the new Maine. Maybe now is the time to move Maine to the bullpen and learn to be a setup man so the Mets can save money on overpaying for one of those.