1st Quarter Starting Rotation Report Card
Being that the 1st quarter is done and gone, added to the fact that I sadly have nothing better to do. I am going to do a first quarter report card for the Mets staff.
Overall Rotation: B
Al Leiter: B
How could a guy with a 2.52 ERA and a .210 BAA be only a B? Simple, in five of seven games started he only went 5.0 innings, 5.1 innings, 5.0 innings, 5.0 innings and 4.0 innings (granted he was injured in this one). For the most part he has been lights out when he pitches, but you need to go deeper in games to be a truly effective pitcher and help out the team. Due to a lack of support when he pitches and the bullpen’s failure to hold some leads, he is only 1-2. Furthermore, the Mets are only 2 and 5 when he pitches. This year Al seemingly labors too much and his K to BB ratio is 1.3, that is not too hot. Al also walks and average of 4.14 batters per nine innings. Believe me, I’ll still take Al in a big game, but his effectiveness is starting to slip. He needs to put in more innings and try not to have 100 pitches by the 5th. Overall, you have to be happy with a the 38 year old and just hope he can come back and be healthy for the rest of the season.
Tom Glavine: A+
What’s not too like about what he has done so far this season? He has not pitched less than 6 innings in any start and just flirted with a perfect game into the 7th and a no-no into the 8th on Sunday. His K to BB ratio is 2.71, his BAA is .193, his ERA is 2.13 (good for 5th in the NL, which is also good for 5th in the majors) and he is on pace for 22 wins. On top of that, he is batting .263 with 3 RBIs, 2 BB, and fields his position with the best of them. There really is nothing he does not do well and is quickly erasing the sub-par season he turned in last year.
Steve Traschsel: A
In nine games, he registered at least six innings eight times and over seven innings four times. Since his 1st game, which he got shelled by Atlanta, he has a 2.33 ERA and is as solid as they come. You know he is going to go out there and give you a quality start and keep you in the game nightly, all for the bargain price of five million dollars. Like Glavine, he takes his hitting seriously and is no easy out. He is batting .273 in 2004, which is better than I can say for at least 5 regular starters whom I will not name by names.
Jae Seo: D+
Righties are batting .365 against him, his ERA is 5.30, he walks more people than he strikes out, and his velocity is down from last year. He does not give quality innings or go deep into games. After a tremendous and exciting rookie campaign where he participated in game which saw the minimum 27 batters faced he has failed to follow it up. While he is too young to give up on, one has to wonder what usefulness he serves in the future. His reported reluctance to add a curveball to his repertoire is somewhat perplexing. This is the only pitcher that has seemingly gone backwards in the grips of Rick Peterson. His constant cracked nail and blister problems are getting old quickly as well. Jae Seo is just lucky the Mets have so many question marks in the starting rotation, or he would be at Norfolk right now.
Tyler Yates: D
While he created a buzz in the spring training, that has quickly faded. His BAA is .317, he has a K to BB ratio of nearly 1. I realize he may be a work in progress, he has 4 good pitches, and he was a reliever in the past, but I just cannot seem to take many positives from his performances. Aside from two starts against the mighty Expos, he has routinely been torn apart. Yes, he is still young but his future in the starting rotation is a question to me. In his first inning pitched, he has only given up 2 runs on the year while holding the opposition to a .167 average. Yates also walks about 1 out of every 8 people in the first 3 innings and walks 1 out of ever 5 innings in the next three innings on average. If this is an experiment to be continued, it may be best done at AAA to gain some stamina. He does not appear ready for MLB competition at this point in a starting role. However, the Mets have little choice at this point when the alternative was James Baldwin. Unless the Mets want to give Heilmann or Griffiths another shot, Yates is the guy until Keppel or Peterson (less likely) is ready to contribute. It is my contention with the plethora of starting pitching and the # 3 pick in the 2004 draft, Yates' future in the rotation may not be the optimal path. He may be best suited for a set-up role at this point in order to be as effective as he can be and contribute the team. There will be plenty of bullpen jobs in 2005 to be had, and I would not mind seeing Yates in one of them. I have stated it before, a combo of Moreno, Yates, and Looper in 2005 could be devastating.
Matt Ginter: INC.
I will reserve judgment on Ginter as of yet. When he pitches, the Mets are 2-0 and he has kept the team in the game both times. As long as he continues to be effective in that capacity until we can sort this rotation out, I have no problem with him. Once Leiter returns he will most likely be kept in the rotation with Yates being sent down. At that point it is his to lose. If he can keep the Mets in the game for the most part, he should be just fine as the #5 starter.