The Mets' Starting Pitching: How To Fix the Fiasco

Walker McKeoughContributor IJanuary 5, 2010

FLUSHING, NY - APRIL 13: A Mets logo inside the ground is seen on opening day at Citi Field on April 13, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. This is the first regular season MLB game being played at the new venue which replaced Shea Stadium as the Mets home field.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

In their recent acquisitions, Mets management has shown they are unwilling to invest in prospects but instead, shovel out huge amounts of money for Jason Bay (four years, $66 million) and, in all likelihood, 35-year old Bengie Molina. 

With a heavy loaded lineup consisting of Bay, Beltran, Frenchy, Wright, and Reyes, the Mets have the hitting lineup to get to the playoffs. But they still lack a pitching staff; hell, they still lack a credible defence, cough, Luis Castillo.

The Mets have an abysmal starting pitching rotation. Thank God we somehow got Johan Santana for Carlos Gomez and three prospects.

Well, the second, third, fourth, and fifth pitching slots in the rotation are a mystery. 

Mike Pelfrey took a huge step backwards last year with a 5.02 ERA and a 10-12 record. 

John Maine did exactly what we expected him to do: pitch well until becoming injured (once again) for the second-straight season.

And finally, the man I love the most, Oliver Perez. Oliver Perez is like a box of chocolates; chocolates which are now poisonous.

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To help deal with the injuries of last year, the Mets had about five different starting pitchers; Livan Hernandez, J. Niese, F. Nieve, and Parnell...a melange group at best.

Realistically, there is no way the Mets are going to fix their starting pitching problems in the offseason. First, they will never get rid of Perez because of his contract and high salary. Second, Minaya has shown he has no idea what he's doing in the front office; all he does is throw money at big names and hope something good comes of it.

Finally, the Mets don't have a good manager or pitching coach to help any newcomers. Manuel is a nice guy, but he doesn't have the chops to be a major league manager.

If I could rehaul the starting pitching rotation, the first person to go would be Oliver Perez. Unfortunately, I am still in love with the "healthy" Maine and would like to keep him as a fourth or fifth starter. Pelfrey would also stay; he has the talent to succeed, but will need another two or three years to become a legitimate pitcher.

This leads to the offseason for the Mets. They are still aiming for a World Series with the Bay signing, so would need two types of pitchers: a No. 2 and a solid dependable.

The first starting pitcher I would take off free agency this year would be Jon Garland. Now, most people would be thinking, "If anyone, why Garland?" Well, the main reasons are that he is an inning eater and a fly ball pitcher who would probably have one of his better years in a large stadium (Citi is possibly one of the largest in the majors). Another point is that he won't run the franchise a high contract. I could see him as a third starter with a two-year contract at $8-12 million; not too terrible in this day and age.

The second starting job would be a split between Bedard or Sheets, two pitchers who haven't been healthy, and probably never will be. But let's be realistic: there is no way the Mets would get to the playoffs without another ace caliber pitcher to back up Santana.      

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