If Spring Training is any indication, the Mets’ lack of moves to shore up their starting rotation in the off-season is going to come back and bite them. None of the five starters has been especially effective.
Sure plenty of players and coaches alike will tell you that the spring is a completely different animal than the regular season. Things like a heavy wind blowing out on many game days in Port St. Lucie will skew the results, pushing some balls over the wall that normally wouldn’t go. That works both ways, when the Mets’ players are hitting them out of the park or when the opposition does it.
They’ll also say the hurlers are tinkering with deliveries and placement of the pitches. They’re trying to build up arm strength to get ready for the first week of the season.
However, when none of your five projected starters has an ERA under 5, there is some cause for concern. Not even Johan Santana has been immune to multiple shellings. But nobody on the Mets’ staff seems to be worried, at least on the outside.
Jon Niese’s latest outing when he was was touched up for four runs, three earned, in a split-squad game against the Marlins today is just the latetst example. Mike Pelfrey was even worse yesterday, allowing six earned runs vs. the Cardinals. He allowed his seventh homer in two games. You know it’s bad when Oliver Perez has the second-lowest ERA (5.87) of your starting five.
MLB.com has this story about the state of the Mets’ pitching staff in which it says Santana is the only sure thing. But is he? He’s coming off surgery and has allowed 11 earned runs and four home runs in just four games. His ERA is 6.75.
To make matters worse, it looks as if the Mets’ management is still looking to make Jenrry Mejia a member of the bullpen instead of sending him down to work on being a starter.
The Mets pitching staff has a lot of work to do to ease the troubled minds of their fans and a very short window to do it in.
The Mets have one less catcher to worry about in their system as Chris Coste was picked up off waivers today and will head to Washington.
Some good news as Jose Reyes took batting practice against minor league pitchers and reports that he feels better than expected.
ESPN.com’s Buster Olney has the Mets placing fourth in the National League East. Surprise, surprise.