Fifth Starter Spot Will Be A Competition

By Danny Abriano

While speaking today at the Mets Holiday party, Sandy Alderson discussed the fifth (and last remaining) opening in the starting rotation.  With Bartolo Colon, Jonathon Niese, Zack Wheeler, and Dillon Gee set to occupy the other spots, Alderson noted that the fifth slot will be up for grabs:

I wrote yesterday that the Mets have enough starting pitching, so I don’t think bringing in another starter on a minor league deal is necessary.

Jul 14, 2013; Flushing , NY, USA; World pitcher Rafael Montero throws a pitch during the first inning of the 2013 All Star Futures Game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

However, if the Mets are hell-bent on adding another arm, it’s good to know that the pitcher coming in won’t be handed a spot due to his track record.

Still, if you use the word “competition” in spring training, it has to be used loosely.  Hopefully, the Mets evaluate the pitchers who are vying for the fifth spot on more than just in game results.

If healthy and performing, Jenrry Mejia should be the fifth starter.  If Mejia isn’t up to the task, the Mets could simply go with Rafael Montero from day one.  If they have qualms about going with Montero, they can opt for Jacob deGrom instead.  In an ideal world, if the club brings in another starter, he would serve as insurance in Triple-A Las Vegas.

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