Once the Mets reached September and the meaningless games part of their schedule, the pitching staff — and the rotation in particular — was worn out and losing members due to one malady or another. It might have been a good opportunity for the Mets to audition young arms who showed potential. Instead, the best they could pull from their minor league system was 40-year-old Miguel Batista.
Many factors played into this curious decision. First, there was the fact that the Mets had very few, if any, youngsters who a) showed promise; b) were close enough to MLB to consider adding to the 40-man roster; c) genuinely earned a promotion; and d) hadn’t already met their innings limit for the season. And so fans were treated to what might have been the final nine appearances of Batista’s 17-year MLB career.
As it turned out, the poet and novel writer provided workmanlike appearances — and gave the Mets a valid chance to win in all four of his starts. While it might have been nicer to see a 22-year-old flamethrower making his MLB debut in September, watching Batista retire MLB hitters purely on guile was entertaining.
Side note: Batista started the 2011 season with the Cardinals; if things had worked out differently he might still be competing right now.
Though I haven’t seen anything about Batista retiring, it seemed that he was leaning that way. If he does decide to give it another year, I don’t see the Mets signing him — though, at the same time, I wouldn’t be opposed to a minor-league deal and an invite to spring training. As well as he pitched in September, there are things about that month you just can’t trust — otherwise, Pat Misch would have made 90 starts for the Mets over the past three years.
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.