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

Friday, March 17, 2006

Heilman's Uphill Battle

"It is what it is," Willie Randolph said. "It's competition. Let it play out."

Poor, poor Aaron. As I've stated before, I just do not think the rotations is strong enough to not have Aaron into it and he has done nothing to justify being bumped out of the rotation. Eight starts above AAA for Brian Bannister is not good enough or worth the risk for a team that should in all likelihood, make the playoffs. Obviously they can make changes and shift Heilman into the rotation if Bannister does not work out, but how about making Zambrano earn something? If anything, Aaron deserves more of shot than Zambrano.

Somehow Victor Zambrano, who returned to the team from the World Baseball Classic on Thursday and threw a four-inning simulated game in the bullpen, has remained out of the argument of who slots where -- even as he worked out of the bullpen for Venezuela.

The Mets need to admit an egregious error and right the wrong once and for all. Unfortunately for Heilman, he is proficient to say the least of the bullpen. It is not just Bannister either. Heilman is up against Lima Time, Jeremi Gonzalez, and Usaku Iriki. Why the best two out of the above bunch, Heilman, Zambrano and Bannister are not being considered for the rotation is beyond me, but it seems the Mets seem to prefer saving face and praying that Zambrano becomes a reliable starter rather than putting their best foot forward. Sad. Really sad.

"You know, I watch from the standpoint that he's my teammate and I'm rooting for him to do well," Heilman said. "I've never looked at somebody else's performance and said, 'Oh, I hope he doesn't do well,' or, 'I've got to do better than he does.' It's very tough to do. I can't control what happens when I don't have the ball. I try to focus on that and just root for him to do well. I can definitely understand his position."

If both guys have a solid spring, I go with the person that has had Major League success. We all know that spring stats could be tricky, but the Mets need to trust Aaron and let him prove why he was a first round pick. Trust your off season acquisitions and trust Heilman. The kid is extremely determined and I would not put it past him to emerge as a #2 or a #3 starter this year and be a go to guy for the Mets in their starting rotation.

* * *

  • The universe has been righted as Japan will move on. The US is officially eliminated from the WBC in what could be termed as an embarrassing showing by the US. Personally, I do not quite feel that way because the international competition was very, very good. The teams from Asia have been nothing but impressive and you cannot take anything away from them. I'm still going to be paying attention to the WBC and I hope everyone else does too. Unabatedly, this has been a success.

  • Seriously, this has to be a joke.

    For Kaz Matsui, it's March Madness once again. The man who played 1,143 consecutive games in Japan has another streak going: three spring training camps, three injuries.

    You cannot make that stuff up. Luckily it is not serious and he will be ready to for opening day. As much as he has not earned his job no one else has performed well enough to even make a run at second base. Keppinger is sniffing the Mendoza line and A Hern has eight singles and no walks. Not awe inspiring numbers to say the least.

  • One of my favorite things this spring? Milledge fifth on the team in at bats and batting over .300. Amazing stuff for the kid.

  • Mike Pelfrey is good. The Metropolitans like Tom Glavine.
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