Mets 2010 Rotation

As of now there is going to have to be the assumption that both Manuel and Minaya will be back. With management backing them and no drastic change or embarrassment in that time it does not appear as if the Wilpon’s will be looking for change. While it is still possible there has been very little to indicate that will be the case. So assuming that they do in fact stay in place what should the Mets starting rotation look in the upcoming season?

This season the Mets came in with a rotation of Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez, John Maine, and Livan Hernandez. Santana was performing well before injury; Pelfrey regressed; Perez was never able to get it together; Maine had another injury; Livan was let go before the season was over. After the injuries the rotation was Pelfrey, Pat Misch, Bobby Parnell, Tim Redding, and Nelson Figueroa. Of the four not in the original rotation only one of them should be counted on as a starter, I would prefer Figueroa but it does not have to be him. Parnell was already removed from the rotation so that leaves Tim Redding, Pat Misch and Nelson Figueroa. I believe that these three should be given a shot to compete with a healthy Jonathan Niese for the fifth spot of the rotation. It is not that two of these players could not hold down the fourth and fifth spot but is more I do not believe the Mets should go into spring training under the assumption they will.

So potentially the fifth spot is taken care of with good triple-A depth behind it. Looking back to the 2009 rotation pending medical issues, Santana will be back as the ace, Pelfrey will start and so will Perez unless he gets moved. John Maine is an interesting case, as he has shown signs of being a good pitcher but has been unable to stay off the DL and it is a problem to go into the season expecting much from him. He did come back this season and has pitched pretty well but even expecting him to take the fourth spot for a season is expecting a lot. Lucky for Maine he is cheap and so will be brought back I just worry the Mets will automatically give him a spot. Well the rotation is Santana, Pelfrey, Perez, Maine/Misch/Niese/Redding/Figueroa. Looking at that they definitely have enough players to throw out there but there are so many question marks. Perez and Maine can not be relied upon, and Pelfrey should be no higher than third in this rotation. So now that we’ve gone through all that preface I believe the Mets should look to either a trade or free agent pick-up to find a possible second starter. If you can have the 1-2 punch in the rotation it is already greatly improved. Pelfrey should play better and be more comfortable in the third spot and Perez while not ideal will only be the fourth starter and if he can his velocity up next season should be able to keep his era in the low 4.00s. In no way is this a great rotation but it is really the best the Mets can hope for going into next season.

Now that we have established that this rotation is missing a second starter there is the whole process of deciding who that is going to be. Well there are some options in free agency but unless the Mets are planning on overpaying they have very little. This takes us to a trade, so who is available:  as of right now some possibilities are Roy Oswalt, Carlos Zambrano, and of course Roy Halladay. Now there will be more names popping up in the offseason and I will admit I am no GM so I can not say exactly who is the best option, but of the names available I would say to go after Halladay. Now I understand this is a lot easier said than done, but the Mets need a real top of the rotation starter. Maybe not a Halladay but they can not afford to go after a guy with question marks like Zambrano or Oswalt. This is possibly Minaya’s last season so he is willing to make the big move and they really have to do something to make sure they have a dominant 1-2 punch and feel confident with their rotation, focusing the rest of their attention on filling offensive holes.

It is not beautifully mapped out but the point is there. The Mets best plan for next season is to find a top of the rotation starter. They can not keep pinning their hopes to this high ceiling low producing type of players, they have to have some stability outside of Santana for things to work. It might hurt the farm system but it is the best option for the Mets to turn things around and renew excitement. I truly believe that this move along with some tweaking on offense and the return of injured starters will make the Mets competitive again.

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  1. “They can not keep pinning their hopes to this high ceiling low producing type of players.”

    Try being a knicks fan.

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