Having been completely devastated by the Mets trade of Lastings Milledge, I look to what remains of the farm system for consolation. Some players you might not know about who are close to The Show.
Carlos Muniz - P - 26
Not sure why he has been buried for so long. Muniz posted a 0.45 ERA and struck out a guy per inning at Brooklyn in 2003 in his professional debut. He then spent all of 2004 and most of 2005 toiling at A-ball or lower. When he finally made it to High-A St Lucie, he posted a very nice line of:
48 IP, 44K
Given his lower minors performance, this should have been predictable. But now, he's 25 and still at A. Why? He spent 2007 closing for AA Binghamton, posting another great line of:
58.2 IP, 62K
Still, great. He also collected 54 saves in those two seasons. Upon his callup to AAA, he went unscored-upon in 5.2 innings, with a WHIP of 0.88. He also had a two-inning cup of coffee in the majors which I watched. He didn't look spectacular, but he looked decent. He looks like the type of guy who could really help the back end of the bullpen if he was ever given the chance.
I think he sticks with the big club for 2008. He has a career minor league line of 3.32 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, despite being a little old for each level (good job). He should help this year. According to ZiPS projection, he will post a 4.92 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. I think that's a little pessimistic, but if he posts a 4.5 ERA he'll be an asset.
Adam Bostick - P - 24
One of the acquisitions in the Henry Owens/Matt Lindstrom trade, Bostick has been underwhelming. He posted a 5.66 ERA this year for AAA along with an ugly 1.56 WHIP. Encouragingly enough, he allowed only 106 hits in 97 innings while striking out 91 in a hitter-friendly league, but he walked 45 guys. He seems to have had control problems his whole career, with a minor league average of 4.5 walks per nine innings.
Maybe a switch to the bullpen might help. His strikeout numbers are good and he is lefthanded - guys like that pitch forever. He's having a nice offseason in the AFL with an ERA 1.42 and 17 strikeouts in 18 innings. He's the kind of guy you keep an eye on and hope he gets a little better grip on his control. He's not too old to do so, but its unlikely he amounts to anything as a starter.
Phil Humber - 24 - P
Speaking of hitter-friendly AAA, did you know that Phil Humber, just one year off Tommy John surgery, was in the top ten in ERA, fifth in strikeouts, and FIRST in WHIP in his league last year? He allowed only 1.24 walks+hits per inning and struck out almost a batter per inning in the most hitter-friendly league in all of baseball.
I expect big things from Humber this year. Pelfrey, not so much.