Friday, May 21, 2010

On to the Next One...

I apologize for the infreuqency, brevity, and otherwise stinkiness of my posts lately. I started a new job at the end of March and, well, it's been rough to say the last (in a good way). It's not that I don't have ideas for things to write about, I just usually can't give it the treatment it deserves.

Before starting, I'd like to point out that you may have noticed a new blogger posting here recently. That's Danielle. Say hi! (Hi, Danielle). I don't have to tell you she's been doing a great job, so thanks for being our Angel Pagan and being the only one producing for us right now. Sadly, I think this might make me Jeff Francoeur.

Roger? He's Jason Bay (Canadian). Tonight, just a quick blurb again.

Did you know that by this time tomorrow, thanks to our "Maine Break", we will essentially have started RA Dickey, Raul Valdez, and Hisanori Takahashi in three consecutive games?

With the uncertainty that the Mets faced with Pelfrey, Perez, and Maine in the rotation, we at Fonzie Forever (I guess me) worked long and hard to convince the Mets that bringing in a starter, even a proven mediocrity, would be a better move than signing Jason Bay to a mega-deal because of the needs of this particular team.

So far, unfortunately, we've been proven mostly right.

Of Pelfrey, Maine, and Perez, I figured that, in general, our best bet would be to expect one improvement, one average performance, and one flame out. But even with that, and with Niese holding his own, that required another starter. And then another for when the inevitable injury struck.

Turns out, Pelfrey stepped his game up while Maine and Perez both faltered. Now we are left with two legitimate holes in the rotation, in addition to Jon Niese's injury and struggles. Hence, Dickey-Valdez-Takahashi.

Not to disparage any of those three. They have all pitched very well this year. But are they long term solutions? Can we expect to keep them up? No and no, I think.

Joel Piniero is currently sporting a 3.71 ERA in the American League. Jon Garland is at a 2.38 ERA, but that won't last because of his peripherals. Still, though, a 2.38 ERA is what it is - and it'd be nice to have seen that kind of pitching here in the early going of this year. Jason Marquis, the third of the mid-range options, is injured. So once again, very much a crap shoot among similar options.

In any event, if the Mets had any real designs on being competitive this year, they were absolute fools when it came to their plan for the starting rotation - which, incidentally, is the most important part of the ballclub. If the Mets didn't plan on competing, they were fools for throwing all that money at Jason Bay and then backloading the contract. They find themselves in the middle of the road, pants around their ankles.

So, we're left to ponder, with Gary, Keith, and Ron. And read funny and/or interesting recaps by Danielle. Ah hell. That's not so bad. I love baseball.

I promise in the future to come back to this topic. I have in the past (but cannot find it) written about the importance of starters 6, 7, and 8 on any club which has plans of contending. And guys way smarter than me have done studies on it. Yes, often times clubs which succeed are the ones who have great pitching and great luck with health. But just as often, they are teams who have a great swingman, or a veteran tucked away at Triple-A, or a stud prospect who they didn't want to rush but is knocking down the door. Baseball seasons are long, and human beings were not made to throw overhand. But more on this some other day.

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