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New York Mets 2009 Rundown: John Maine

Andrew WhartonCorrespondent IFebruary 5, 2009

2008 Season Stats

25 GS, 10-8, 4.18 ERA, 140 IP, 122 SO, 1.35 WHIP, .234/.317/.372 vs. Hitters

Put it this way—the Maine was sunk in 2008. Coming off a 15-win season in 2007, John Maine was expected to step up and be a young leader in 2008. He shouldered the pressure and accepted the challenge, but an injury that started bugging him back in Spring Training finally caught up to him halfway through the season, when Jerry Manuel noticed a significant drop in his velocity in a game against the Florida Marlins.

The severe discomfort caused by the bone spur in Maine's throwing shoulder had led to an inconsistent delivery, which in turn resulted in too many fastballs being left up in the zone and his off-speed stuff not able to even sniff the plate. Despite all of that, his numbers still weren't that bad in 2008.

Maine is the type of guy who loves to pitch off of his fastball, which, when healthy, can reach the mid to upper 90s with consistency. What made it so deadly at this level was his ability to spot it on both sides of the plate, down at the knees. Getting ahead in the count was something Maine was very good at in 2006 and 2007, and he would finish them off with either his nasty slider or devastating changeup.

There is no doubt that he has the ability to consistently win 15-17 games (with a good bullpen, of course). The question is, will he be able to stay healthy in 2009?

According to numerous reports and interviews, Maine has stated that he is 100 percent healthy and is ready to go. He started throwing again back in December, so if he stays on top of it, he should be ready by Spring Training. That's as far as the speculation goes...we shall see if he is the John Maine of old come April.



Prediction

32 GS, 15-9, 3.67 ERA, 193 IP, 195 SO, 1.25 WHIP, .229/.315/.356 vs. Hitters

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