Mets pitching staff looks extremely weak

Posted: March 28, 2010 in Mets

OK, time to vent a little bit. As a diehard Mets fan, I’m starting to get a sinking feeling about the season before it even starts. Guess that’s part of the territory with being a fan of the Metropolitans, but believe it or not, I had supreme confidence in this team heading into each of the last three seasons (we all know what happened there).
I don’t know if it’s just Metlag, but I think we could be in for another horrendous year. Maybe not as bad as last year’s injury-filled 70-win clunker, but maybe a 75-87 wretchfest.
Just about every Met starter is putting up putrid April stats. Even Johan Santana hasn’t looked all that great (although I’m not worried about him in the least). The guy I’m concerned about the most is actually Mike Pelfrey.
I’ve always thought this kid was going to develop into an ace or at the very least a solid No. 2 or No. 3 starter. He had the big pitcher’s body, the mid to upper 90s heater with big-time sinking action, and a decent yet underused assortment of secondary pitches.
Pelf says he’s tinkering with his secondary pitches this spring, throwing his four-seam fastball more than his two-seamer (the one with all the movement) and toying with a splitter. The offspeed stuff is actually looking pretty good, but he might want to ditch his flat four-seam fastball, because it’s getting launched all over the yard. I don’t know the numbers, but Pelfrey has allowed close to 10 homers this spring. Today against the Cardinals, he was pounded for six runs on 12 hits in an ugly 5 2/3 inning stint. If I could see just one strong outing from him, I’d feel much better. Even the game I saw him pitch in Fort Myers, he wasn’t smooth although he limited the damage (1 run, 5 hits in 4 innings).
I worry about him mainly because he’s the only pitcher outside of Johan that has a legitimate shot at throwing 200 innings. And with the bullpen looking like a who’s who of shittiness (outside of K-Rod and Feliciano, oh please don’t let Mejia on the team, Jerry and Omar you morons), the starters need to pitch quality innings. John Maine is always hurt and even when he’s in there, his fastball gets fouled back a million times, leaving him a 5-6 inning pitcher. Ollie Perez is about as reliable as a weather forecast, and Jon Niese is unproven (making him quite promising, actually).
I was feeling pretty positive until I started really thinking about this pitching staff. In the bullpen, the Mets gave Ryota Igarishi a guaranteed MLB contract, and he looks awful. Kiko Calero is coming off a nice year in Florida, but has constant shoulder woes. Mejia should be a AA starter (no word if he’s coming north or not). Fernando Nieve has a good fastball but little MLB success. Guys like Pat Misch and Nelson Figueroa are AAAA pitchers; Sean Green is terrible against lefties and wild against everyone; Bobby Parnell has a great fastball but can’t locate it; oh, the list goes on and on. If the Mets can miraculously get strong performances out of Pelfrey, Maine and Perez, they can make a run at the Wild Card. If not, another long year. At least, the Mets’ farm system looks much better and guys like Ike Davis, Fernando Martinez and Mejia aren’t far away. Maybe even by the middle of this year if the Mets are struggling. Anyway, I’m going to enjoy the last week of spring training and try to maintain a positive outlook. Just don’t feel very confident about this staff, and pitching is the name of the game….

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