New York Mets: Who's Their Fifth Starter?

Joe FiorelloCorrespondent IAugust 20, 2009

PHOENIX - AUGUST 11:  Starting pitcher Livan Hernandez #61 of the New York Mets pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the major league baseball game at Chase Field on August 11, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Mets 6-2.   (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Mets have their first three starters in order.

Johan is a clear ace.  Mike Pelfrey is considered a No. 2, even if only by Mets management.  Oliver Perez is so highly paid he has to be the No. 3 guy.

From there on, it’s been a roller coaster.

John Maine was the No. 4 starter at the beginning of the season, but he won’t be back to pitch this year, and Livan Hernandez (No. 5) rounded out the rotation.

Tim Redding (No. 6) and Nelson Figueroa (No. 7) had fill in roles throughout the season, but were unable to pitch consistently enough to keep a spot.

Fernando Nieve (No. 8) and Jon Niese (No. 9) both seemed to be doing well, but were lost to injury.

Bobby Parnell (No. 10) was moved from the bullpen to the rotation as a last resort.

Did I forget anyone?

I’m going to assume that to replace Livan, the Mets are going to give Redding and Figueroa starts, but it’s not out of the question that a guy like Elmer Dessens gets a few starts.  He would be No. 11.

I’ve never seen anything like this before.

Making a move for Cliff Lee seems like an even better idea now.

I can’t wait for 2010.

P.S.—Luis Castillo, your season is one of the bright spots of this team so far, except for the bone headed plays you seem to make all the time.  I understand that it’s hard to concentrate during this type of season.  I’m having trouble concentrating just watching the games on TV, but really man, get it together.