Who Should the Mets Send to the Pen When Oliver Perez and John Maine Return?

Mike KentSenior Writer IJune 29, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 15:  Oliver Perez of the New York Mets pitches to the San Diego Padres on April 15, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.   All Major League Baseball players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson day.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Mets have seen too much of the disabled list this year, and it has been very hard to watch. Watching Met after Met go to the DL is not easy for any Mets fan to watch.

Watching the Mets pay for it was even harder.

But we have heard good news about some of the injured players, and it may bring a bit of a dilemma to the Mets and Jerry Manuel.

Both Oliver Perez and John Maine are looking to come back to the team.

That's great news for the Mets and very bad news for the Phillies, who did not extend their lead on the Mets when they were missing the two starters.

But what should the Mets do when Perez and Maine return? Who should the Mets put in the starting rotation, and who should they put in the bullpen?

Well, we know who will still be a starter at the end of this. Mets ace Johan Santana will be a starter; we all agree on that.

Mike Pelfrey should be good to go; other than Johan Santana he has been the best Mets starter this season.

It becomes a lot less predictable after Pelfrey.

The Mets have five guys going after three spots: Perez, Maine, Livan Hernandez, Tim Redding, and Fernando Nieve.

With all due respect to Perez's left arm, I think he should go to the bullpen. Many people think that his large salary prevents him from being in the bullpen, but why?

Perez is the worst pitcher with a chance to win the fifth spot. I do not know if he would be good in the bullpen for the Mets, but there is only one way to find out.

Manuel has been known to make guys win their spots on the Mets; I hope he does not stop with Perez.

What about Hernandez, where should he go?

Hernandez has been great for the Mets this season. He is 5-3 and has helped the Mets win games. His ERA is 4.04, one of the best on the Mets. There is one big reason to go with him; he is a work horse.

Hernandez is one of those guys that gives you innings. He has 2,644.2 career inning pitched, and this year he is very close to 100 inning pitches.

Maine should join him in the rotation.

Since coming to the Mets, Maine has been very good. He is 30-22 the last two seasons with a ERA under four.

What should Fernando Nieve be?

I think he should be in the rotation. He is 3-0 on the season and has a ERA of 1.31. Nieve has come to the Mets in the right time.

Nieve has been the best starter on the Mets since his first start of the season against the Yankees in Yankee Stadium.

Do not get me wrong, I do not think he will be the next Johan Santana, but I think one of Manuel's best strategies is going with the hot hand.  Nieve is the hot hand for now, and until he goes on a cold streak, the Mets should keep him in the rotation.

And who knows, maybe he will end up being a big star.

That leaves Tim Redding in the bullpen.

Why is Redding in the bullpen? There is just no room in the rotation. Plus, New York needs guys in the bullpen now that J.J. Putz is on the DL.

I am not saying he has been good this season; he is 1-3 with a 6.35 ERA. But he is better this season than Perez.

I think the bullpen can help Redding as well. He can become a better pitcher for the Mets when he does not need to go six innings in a row.

Overall, the Mets' pitching rotation is not the best, but it is better then the Phillies.


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