The latest hot stove news reported by mlb.com involves New York Mets right-handed relief pitcher Aaron Heilman and his wish to either move to the starting rotation or move to another team.
Heilman, tired of his role in the Mets bullpen (and who wouldn't be sick of being a part of that train wreck?), has asked Mets ownership for a chance to start next year. If they're unable to reach some kind of agreement, he will ask to be traded.
The article reports that Heilman, a starter for the Mets from 2003-05, wants to return to the role in which he was originally drafted.
Though he struggled in a starting role when he had his chance, posting a 5-13 record and a 5.93 ERA, he believes his performance in Spring Training 2006 is more typical of what he can do when toeing the rubber in the opening innings.
In those 14 Grapefruit League innings, Heilman pitched his way to a 1.29 ERA with 11 strikeouts compared to zero walks.
The Rockies have long been discussed to be in the running for the 30-year-old righty, even going back to trade talks before the 2008 season. MLB Truth & Rumors on si.com has also mentioned the Rockies as potential suitors.
While nobody in the Mets bullpen pitched particularly well in 2008, Heilman quietly had himself a solid season in 2007, posting a 3.03 ERA in 81 games.
Scouting reports on Heilman say that he has a biting split-finger pitch with a fastball in the low to mid-90s. Improved command on his slider and changeup will make him a better asset in the bullpen, and he is also able to work effectively on short rest.
If the Rockies were to pick him up, he would more than likely be another candidate to compete for the two spots in the back of the rotation alongside newly acquired Greg Smith, Jorge De La Rosa, Franklin Morales, Greg Reynolds, and Jason Hirsh.
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