New York Mets News

What Is Wrong With The Pitching Staff?

By Michael Rosenbloom

I’m sure if you poll most Mets fans and asked them who their idea of the ideal pitching staff would be for the Mets, I have a feeling not one of our current starters would be on that list. In fact, most of current staff would probably be lucky to be a fourth or fifth starter on most teams (minus the Pirates and Nationals, of course). Based on their numbers so far this season, our ace would have to be Chris Young. In two starts and 12.1 innings, our “ace” has put an ERA of 1.46. The next closest starter in terms of ERA? That would be R.A. Dickey, sporting a sparkling 4.10 ERA in four starts. And the supposed “ace” at the beginning of the season Mike Pelfrey? Well he is sitting with an impressive ERA of 9.72 in four starts with a ridiculous .382 batting average against. The team ERA is sitting at 4.95, good for 30th in baseball. Something has to be done.

The question is, what can be done? Some people will blame pitching coach Dan Warthen. I disagree. Warthen helped build the Mets last year into a staff with the sixth-best ERA in the National League.

Some people will blame injuries. Johan Santana is out. Without a true ace to guide this team, the pressure mounts on the rest of the staff, none of whom have any experience having a carry the load.

Some people will blame Sandy Alderson and co. for not bringing in anybody in the offseason. They had their chance with Cliff Lee, among plenty others and whiffed on every big name out there. Instead, they were forced to bring in guys like Chris Capuano and Young, who have performed admirably, but certainly aren’t the long-term solution this team needs.

Some people will blame the handling of our farm systems. Last season, the Mets rushed up prospect Jenrry Mejia from AAA to play a bullpen role. Talk to anybody and they will tell you that that little stint in the majors severely hampered his development as a major league starter. If they hadn’t rushed him last year, it’s quite possible he’d be with the team right now, but instead he is still developing down in Buffalo. Dillon Gee has been excellent in his brief spot starts with the Mets, but they need to make a decision with him. Keep him up, and leave him down and let him develop. Going back and forth isn’t helping him. Same goes for Pat Misch.

Some people will just blame the players. Pelfrey has been maddeningly inconsistent his entire career. Jon Niese has been the same. Sometimes you just draft the wrong guys, and they never develop like they should.

I’m not pretending I know the answer. All I know is how frustrating it is to watch Capuano go out there and throw a gem like he did last night, and then having to watch another pitcher throw the ball like he is throwing a watermelon. There has to be a solution out there.

How would you fix the Mets pitching staff?