The Heilman Experiment (Part II)
Way back in 2004 I wrote that the Mets should try Aaron Heilman in the rotation. This was not because I really thought he would succeed, but because I figured he was done as a starting pitcher. What I didn't know is that Heilman and a new arm angle would give the Mets an extremely effective pitcher. I write a lot of articles and this was a case of throwing enough shit at a wall and having something stick. Though Heilman has struggled of late, he is still a very good pitcher and very valuable to this team.
IP H HR SO L ERA WHIP K/9That is what I would call a negative trend. Heilman gave up a run in four of his last eleven appearances before putting together a string of four scoreless innings recently. Aaron had worked with Rick Peterson to work a kink out and that seems to have set him straight. However, Heilman was put into the bullpen last year and was just about the best reliever in the universe in the second half of 2005 with the exception of Mr. Billy Wagner. This year? Not so much. In fact, this bullpen is so deep that Aaron in the bullpen is no longer a necessity.
April 13.2 13 0 14 0 2.63 1.32 9.22
May 16.0 11 1 13 1 3.38 1.13 7.31
June 13.2 18 2 9 2 7.43 1.58 6.08
Total 43 42 3 36 3 4.40 1.33 7.53
With Heath Bell looking great of late and Henry Owens showing everyone that he has nothing left to prove in the minors, they can pick up Aaron's slack since in reality, there simply is not as much to pick up as we thought there would be. The Mets need a #3 starter and better rotation than they have. I think this rotation is just fine to get the Mets through the regular season and beat up on the National League, but when it comes the playoffs, the Mets are one Kris Benson-type pitcher away. Heilman can be that guy in my opinion and it's certainly worth a shot.
The bullpen is a strength of the this team and with Heath Bell, Royce Ring, and Henry Owens there to jump in to help this team out, I think it might be the way to go at this point. If Mike Pelfrey can continue to improve and perhaps pitch in in late August and Aaron Heilman in the rotation, things to look a bit brighter in terms of the quality of the Mets starting pitching.
"There are so many teams looking for pitching and so many teams in the race, somebody will take this guy," one veteran NL scout said.
In a low risk move, the obvious answer is yes. However, he would come with plenty of questions about being able to handle New York again and Weaver is a known hot head so he would most likely not be the answer to the Mets need for a good #3 starter, but it cannot hurt.
"Under the circumstances and the time of the game, the score, everything like that, I don't think I have seen a better play," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "That was an incredible play."