A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Plan Z

We all knew the Mets may had a potential health problem with the rotation. However, we did not think it would be with Steve Traschel. He was counted on to be a healthy mainstay at the end of the rotation with eyes towards Zambrano, Benson, and Martinez as the ones to monitor. The Mets had a deep rotation so they could sustain a loss of one of their pitchers. However, losing one this early and the one that was counted on for health raises some large concerns. With Steve Traschel having a serious ailment, the Mets need to look towards Aaron Heilman, Jae Seo, Matt Ginter, and Francisco Campos. A rotation with Martinez, Glavine, Benson, and Zambrano is not bad with a Ginter/Seo/Heilman/Campos as the #5 guy. After all, he'll be skipped when he can and just expected to do decent job and not get killed and give the Mets a chance win every once in while. Now, if another pitcher goes down, there are problems. Big ones.

The new, more aerodynamic Matt Ginter has new life and is probably considered the favorite at this point. I know that Campos got shelled yesterday, but one bad outing does not ruin his chances although it certainly hurts them. He is still an intriguing guy and will get an extended look because he represents a rather low risk. I think we all know Heilman does not have a chance to make the fifth the spot in the rotation. Everyone would have to get injured before they will trust him again. Jae Seo does not have a vote of confidence from his pitching coach, and this is a big negative for him and probably too big to overcome. That leaves the hairless wonder. The perception is that Matt is not very good. However, he actually did pretty decent job, just not when he faced the Yankees.

Non-Yank Starts
Yank Starts

"I used to throw it just for show," Ginter said. "On fastball counts now, I can mix in the change-up. I think it'll help a lot. I'm trying to get to the point where I can throw that or my slider at any given time."

Yeah, he's not All-Star, but we are talking about a guy to give you some good innings and a chance to win every fifth day. He can keep the seat warm until something else is figured out or someone else is ready and provide a reasonable facsimile of a Major League pitcher. You can accuse me of cherry picking numbers, but he fared pretty well in the twelve starts not against the Yankees. If you tell me the fifth starter will keep you in the game 75% of the time, I'll take it. I'd rather have Traschel at #4 and Zambrano at #5, but that's not happening anymore. Ginter started fourteen games and only got knocked out three times without finishing at least five innings and left before the fifth two other times not related to his performance. He got knocked out early two times vs. the Yankees and once in Cincinnati. He left one game early because of rain against Philly, and left another game against Philly after pitching one inning and leaving with a sprained ankle. He may not go as deep as you'd like, but his 10 no decisions are partly the offenses fault as well.

Things may not be perfect, but no need for the panic button yet.

Actually, click the button. It will make you feel better and take your mind off things.

I know this will be a hot topic, but why not let Yusmeiro see what he can do the rest of Spring training? Why not give him some decent innings? Maybe he'll shock everyone.

"At the major league level I know I need to make more adjustments," Petit said afterward.

Though the Mets seem convinced that Petit should start the season in the minors, Randolph grew animated when asked about Petit's chance of being the club's fifth starter. "That's a young kid, I don't know," he said. "I'll tell you what: he has a lot of poise. I like the way he went out and threw the ball today. He's been on fire in winter ball and done real well, I understand."

Spring Training is for learning. Letting him see what he has can do no harm. Getting knocked around and leaving spring with high ERA and knowing what he has to work on is the worst thing that can happen.

"At the major league level I know I need to make more adjustments," Petit said afterward.

He's not a dummy.

* * *

  • A nicey nice look at David Wright.

  • Baseball America give the NL an overview today.

    Quick Take: Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez can't solve all of the Mets' problems by themselves.
    In The Spotlight: 2B Kaz Matsui and SS Jose Reyes. They were supposed to give New York a special double-play combination but they mostly provided heartache instead. Reyes played in just 53 games last year because of leg injuries, while Matsui looked rather ordinary. Now they've traded positions. They almost certainly have to be better in 2005, but how good can they truly become?

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Well, Traschel and Benson have been out (along with Cameron, still), but our backup's have been proving their mettle. Heilman has proven himself worthy of the #5 spot until Traschel gets back in the rotation. Martinez managed to put down all the nay-sayers who thought he was past his prime. Glavine continues to pitch well. Zambrano needs to work on his placement, but I'm sure he'll improve over the season. That still leaves Benson's open spot - Ishii filled it briefly, but now he's on the DL. Seo put in a good showing last weekend against the Nats, but he lacks consistency.

    Off the mound, the team has been surprising, especially Reyes and Diaz. I'm not sure how Diaz will fit in the picture when Cameron returns, but maybe they can reassign Valent and use Cameron as the second-string CF if (God forbid) something happens to Beltran. Wright has carried expectations from last season, and hopefully he continues to improve his plate showings. And, it needs to be said...Piazza needs to break out of his slump if we're really going to accomplish something this season.

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