New York Mets' Starting Pitcher No. 5, A Battered Bunch

danny perezContributor IMarch 13, 2009

As each spring training day passes, it seems the plan to stockpile a bunch of nobodies to battle it out for the final spot in the rotation is not working out. At this rate, unless Omar can pull a rabbit, or Pedro Martinez, out of his hat, mere process of elimination, and not excellence, is going to determine who will end up being lucky number five.

Let's take a look at this battered bunch.

Tim Redding is all but eliminated in my book. This is a guy who couldn’t get any peewees out in his first outing. Ok, to his credit, they were college players and he actually did retire one whole student batter, giving up five runs in one third of an inning.

Yesterday was no better. Well, he did actually pitch an entire two and one third innings against Florida. Here’s the kicker: dead man Redding was abused for 13 hits, 14 runs, and five home run bombs. His spring ERA is 40.50, and no, that’s not a typo.

I know it’s just spring, but really Tim? Is this the best you can do? And a guaranteed contract of about $2.5 million, for this?

My patience is wearing thin. I don’t even want to see this man in long relief, forget about making the rotation.

Then we have Freddy Garcia, who had an opportunity to boost his chances by getting a few guys out today in his fourth spring appearance vs Detroit. He certainly wasn’t Redding bad, allowing two runs in two and one third innings.

But with a fastball in the low 80’s and a spring ERA of barely under 15, going with him would be like going with the lesser of many evils. It’s time to move on from the Garcia experiment.

Then there’s Jon Niese with a not too shabby 9.00 ERA, well compared to the aforementioned fools. He’s just not impressing anyone either. He’s a lefty so he has that going for him.

On to the front-runner to date, rubber arm man Livan Hernandez. Sporting a 4.70 ERA, by process of elimination, he leads this motley crew to win the job.

I’m just not feeling this. No one is stepping up. No one is taking this animal by the horns as the Mets have hoped. If these are the only options, I’d want to see Niese win the job just for the element of the unknown. Is this what we have to look forward to, selecting someone on these terms?

We know what Livan will bring, just throw him in the pen for long relief and call it a day.

Then there’s Pedro, throwing in the 90’s, looking and feeling like a born again stud with determination. If Redding is getting almost $2.5 million, Pedro’s $5 million asking price is a bargain.

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