Mailbag: Will The Mets Win A Division In 2008?
Will the Mets still have basically the same five guys in the rotation in 2008 with Pedro essentially replacing Glavine at number one? Will that be enough to win a division?
It’s very difficult to say whether a rotation of 1. Pedro Martinez, 2. Orlando Hernandez, 3. John Maine, 4. Oliver Perez, 5. Mike Pelfrey would be enough to win a division in 2008. A lot depends on what moves and improvements teams like the Phillies and Braves do in the off season.
Personally, I believe that the Mets would be putting themselves at great risk once again, if they were to rely on Pedro and El Duque staying healthy for an entire season. Neither pitcher has been able to avoid the DL in quite some time.
The problem is that the Mets have a five man rotation that is loaded with mostly solid number three starters. They do not have that one true ace they can rely on to pitch 200 plus innings and win 18 or more games. They lack a true starter who can pitch consistently every time he is given the ball and throw seven or more innings. It puts a strain on the bullpen and adds more pressure on the other starters who feel they have to pitch perfectly every time they take the mound.
Because the Mets have solid middle of the rotation starters, it becomes difficult to trade one of them, especially when the only depth they have lies in the unproven Philip Humber. Ideally, the Mets should use El Duque out of the bullpen, but realistically they have nobody to replace him in the rotation.
This years free agent crop offers little in the way of help for the Mets. A trade seems like the most obvious source of help, but to land an ace, the Mets would most likely have to move Maine or Perez. Many Mets fans believe that other teams regard Pelfrey and Humber as highly as the Mets do. Unfortunately, they don’t. Both of their stocks have taken significant hits and neither pitcher is considered a top 100 prospect in 2008.
Omar Minaya certainly has the difficult task of trying to revamp a rotation that desperately needs revamping. His job becomes even more difficult when you consider his top priority would be to fix the bullpen first.
It’s a long answer to a simple question, but as it stands now the Mets did not have enough pitching to win in 2007, and unless something changes, it will not be enough to win in 2008. Especially if the Phillies follow through on their pledge to acquire a number one starter.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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