Can the Mets Pitch

6 Mar

By Jim Walters

There are many questions that surround this New York Mets ball club with less than a month before Opening Day. Health continues to be the question that will not go away, as Jose Reyes joins Carlos Beltran and Kelvim Escobar on the sideline.

There are also questions regarding performance. Can David Wright regain his power? Can Jason Bay perform in New York? Can Daniel Murphy hit? Can Angel Pagan and Gary Matthews Jr. do enough until Beltran returns?

While most teams have questions, the running list is unusually large for the Mets, especially considering the money spent to put this team on the field.

Yet, despite all of the issues regarding health and performance, the biggest and most important question facing the 2010 Mets is can they pitch?

Johan Santana, 31, appears to be recovering well from surgery and will face his first major test this Tuesday, pitching in his first Spring Training game. What follows is anyone’s guess.

The Mets paid Oliver Perez like a number two pitcher, while he is more like a number five. He is healthy and looks and sounds optimistic this early March. The Mets need him to be consistent, in fact, they will not survive if he isn’t.

Mike Pelfrey brings his question marks. He struggled in his second full season in 2009, going 10-12 with a bloated ERA over 5, but the Mets need him to be their number two starter. It is a great deal to ask of a guy who doesn’t have a second pitch to compliment his dynamic moving fastball.

New York will also call on John Maine to not only be healthy, but to pitch well for a full season. In 2007, he pitched 190 innings with an impressive record of 15-10. Management is counting on Maine to reproduce these numbers. The unknown is that Maine is overcoming shoulder issues, missing half of last season.

It appears that John Neise is the favorite to take the number five-spot in the rotation. Who can forget his collapse on the mound last year when his hamstring failed him and the Mets. Now, he is called upon to be the solid number five and the hope of this season.

If New York can stay in contention by July, they will hopefully add another starter to consume innings and win games. The biggest question facing this team now is can this combination of sub par pitchers do enough to compete in a division where this pitching staff ranks as one of the weakest.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: