Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Time to play "Find the Fifth Starter"

Contestant A
108.0 IP, 3.17 ERA, 8.83 K/9, 2.87 K/BB, 6 HR

Contestant B
166.1 IP, 4.17 ERA, 6.06 K/9, 1.46 K/BB, 12 HR

Both A and B have something else working in their favor. Contestant A is 27, more than three years younger than Contestant B. On the other hand, Contestant B was acquired in trade for highly regarded Prospect K, so it wouldn't reflect very well on the front office to move him out of the rotation now, would it?

This intangible quality of Victor Zambrano, that the Mets paid dearly for him, seems to be the only thing recommending him for the job. I can't come up with any other reason why the Mets would be willing to give him the ball every fifth day while a vastly superior pitcher (Heilman, if you hadn't gathered) sits in the bullpen, waiting for Willie to kick him a few scraps of long relief or 7th inning opportunities.

I don't want to give the impression that I've been a Heilman fan all along. He took his sweet time improving to the point where he could be trusted in the majors in any capacity, but his performance last year was outstanding, and when 26 year-olds turn in great seasons, you give them a shot at a full-time job when they're 27. There oughta be a law.

It's great that the Mets are 10-3, but it's not going to be a cakewalk to the division title, and watching Andruw Jones take batting practice at Shea is not my idea of a good time.


Metsblog has the Zambrano issue well covered. I hadn't read that quote of Peterson's in which he actually accuses Mets fans of being impatient with Zambrano's progress. Really, Rick? You're really going to call us impatient when a guy who you said you could fix in 10 minutes still sucks after 32 starts in blue and orange? Here's what I think you should do: 1) shut up 2) fix Zambrano 3) when you fail to fix Zambrano, admit as much and focus on the guys who actually show promise. The Mets have the best team ERA in baseball thus far at 3.51, which is great and Peterson may have something to do with it, but seriously Rick, shut up.

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