The Mets have several holes to fill this winter, and one of the many concerns is the starting rotation.
Oliver Perez, John Maine, and Mike Pelfrey all may have the talent to be solid starters behind Johan Santana, but all three of them need to prove that they can contribute positively to the rotation for the whole season.
Perez missed a significant portion of the last season because of lingering knee trouble, which did require surgery, but prior to that, he had a lot of problems with his control and was placed in the bullpen.
Perez has incredible talent, but his focus is not there most of the time unless he is facing a team that he feels challenged by, such as the Yankees and Phillies. He gets rattled very easily, which causes problems for the whole team.
Maine also missed quite a bit of the season after not conditioning himself properly after his shoulder surgery in September 2008 and had "arm fatigue" or "dead arm" problems, but he did show significant improvement when he returned in September 2009.
Pelfrey has a lot of potential, but he has battled the "yips." Both Brian Schneider and David Wright have worked closely with him during his starts on the mound to keep him focused.
Jason Marquis will most likely be leaving the Colorado Rockies, as Jeff Francis is planning on returning to the team after missing most of the 2009 season with a shoulder injury that required surgery.
Marquis is New York born and bred (Staten Island, to be exact) and has expressed interest in returning to New York even though he grew up a Yankee fan, he may be better suited for the Mets. This homecoming may work to his advantage because he knows the fanbase and expectations of playing in a major market.
Mets management knows this is a crucial area for improvement this winter. The team needs a No. 2 starter, and Marquis may be given the chance since Perez, Maine, and Pelfrey have not been able to show their reliability or durability—two things that are very important for this 2010 New York Mets team.