I've spoken about this before, but the anti-Met propaganda about the Mets rotation, the age of some players, and the fragility of some of their players (i.e. The Duque and Moises) has been seriously overblown. We all know what to expect from The Duque and Moises and that's 20-25 starts from The Duque and 120 to 130 games from Moises. They are going to get dinged up and spend some time on the DL and will need their rest. That was a given and it comes as no surprise that this is exactly where we are at this point in time.
Moises is hurting a bit and a trip the DL for some rest would not be the worst thing in the world while he heals up and as Jorge Sosa is proving, a trip to the DL is hardly a detrimental thing to a team like the Mets. As sexy as their pitching might not be, John Maine and Oliver Perez appear to have been greatly underrated during the off-season. With Sosa in the mix now and Vargas, Humber, and Pelfrey on the farm with Pedro's rehab coming along well, it is hard for the Mets to not feel comfortable at this present time.
The Mets top three starters in Glavine, Maine, and Perez own a 2.59 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and a 7.36 k/9 in 22 starts with a 13-4 record. If you take a look at the Mets probable starting five when The Duque comes back, you have a 2.59 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 7.12 K/9 in 29 starts and 180.2 innings. Simply amazing. One thing of concern is Maine and Perez's bouts with wildness from time to time as Maine has two six walk games and a four walk game in seven starts. As for Perez, he had one seven walk game early on. However, when you look at Maine's seven starts and see that four have him going at least seven innings and going at least six and all but one in conjunction with Perez's seven walks in 39+ innings outside of that one extremely wild game, it quells those concerns.
As for Moises getting injured, it provides a perfect opportunity to get Gomez, Milledge (when he's back), and Chavez more playing time while resting an old player keeping him fresh for the long haul. You can almost say the DL is a good thing for certain players on the Mets roster and better in the long run. Injuries will happen over the long haul of the season and the Mets can handle them. While some people showed their anti-Mets bias and went with teams like the Phillies or the Braves for the NL East, this team is better than people give them credit for and many think they will be very good. The Mets are far and away the best team in the NL as evidenced by their extremely large lead in run differential which is a great predictor of success and true record of a team.
He's just short of 30 innings, but Mike Pelfrey merits his own mention. His need for a reliable breaking ball has been put into sharper focus in his five starts this year, and even more concerning, he hasn't been getting groundballs at his usual rate. His velocity is fine, but his slider is inconsistent, and he seems to overthrow his fastball when he gets into trouble. Pelfrey's upside is huge, but he's moving further away from fulfilling it.
You don't want to get down on him, but after he built up our confidence in his ability to be effective this year in the bigs, it is hard not to. It is clear he is a bit further away than originally believed after Spring Training and as I've stated before, it is disturbing when you consider his age, his experience, and the quality of his secondary stuff. Furthermore, his extreme lack of ability to miss bats leaving him with no true out-pitch despite a ++ fastball is not a great future predictor of success. He is still extremely young, but he needs to make some great strides in AAA. His success in AAA will be hard to decipher via stats because he should mow down hitters, but he needs to work on his pitches more than getting batters out.
- He looks strikingly like Reyes in regards to his stance at the plate.
- He is clearly a plus defender. He was tight out there and made a spectacular diving play. He has centerfielder instincts and was sitting under every ball as it came down rather than catching every ball in stride as Shawn Green does when he has to move.
- Also similarly to Reyes, he exudes electricity and joy to play the game. He has the same perma-smile that Jose Reyes has.
- Though his in-game power has not shown up yet, you can definitely see the kid has game changing ability that is rare.
Mark (Boston): What is your opinion of Terry Francona? I think he really gets a bum deal in the media considering he manages a club with a lot of vetrans and egos.
SportsNation Tim Kurkjian: (3:09 PM ET ) I think Terry Francona is a really good manager, because of the people he manages on that team the town in which he manages. Every day there is a new story with the Red Sox whether it's with Schilling or Manny or someone else. Few managers deal with people better than Terry Francona. For those who think he's not a great strategist, I'll take a great communicator as a manager over a great strategist any day.
Of course we can relate this to our very own favorite team. I'm not saying I prefer one or the other, but I am saying there are guys out here who can do both. They are not mutually exclusive.
Alon (Brooklyn): What do you think of Maine performance and do you think he can keep it up?
SportsNation Tim Kurkjian: I don't think he's going to be this good the rest of the way. But he has become a well above average Major League pitcher. The Orioles told me when they traded him that they might not be able to handle the pressures of New York and that his ball was awfully straight. And yet, he has handled the pressures of New York very well. I'm told his ball has very good movement.
Maine has gotten better in leaps and bounds and appears to be the real deal. It seems as though my estimation of John Maine as a legit #3 was a bit of an underestimation.
Josh NY: Better Career, Jose Reyes or Hanely Ramirez?
SportsNation Tim Kurkjian: I'm taking Jose Reyes, even though I really like Hanley Ramirez. Last year, no player in history matched Reyes's numbers in hits, runs, steals, HRs in one season. He is a dynamic offensive player who can also change a game on the basepaths and with his defense. He is the most exciting player in the league and I think he's getting better every day.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it Marlin fans. Of course they are both great players, but Reyes is simply the better long term bet at this point though Ramirez should be really, really good.