With the most recent signing of Oliver Perez, the Mets have solidified the first four spots in their rotation. Most of you should easily recognize the names because it is exactly how the Mets left off in 2008; Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez, John Maine.
The only name missing from that 2008 rotation is Pedro Martinez who will be replaced this season by either Tim Redding, Freddy Garcia, Jon Niese or Bobby Parnell.
All four are now in camp and vying for that number five spot.
Of the four, Tim Redding made it perfectly clear how he feels about that lone remaining starting spot.
“It’s my assumption, and I’ve been told that I’ve been brought in here to be a starting pitcher – bottom line. I went through this for four years in Houston, being told that I have to compete against a bunch of guys. I got called by the Mets, they brought me in here, and I’ve got a guaranteed contract. I didn’t have to beg them for a job, so it’s got to make me feel like I have the upper hand.”
It’s important to note, that Redding did make it clear he would not cause an uproar if he were to start the season in the bullpen,so don’t let the tough talk fool you.
Some reports have said the five spot is Freddy Garcia’s to lose, so it’s interesting to see how this will play out.
I don’t believe anyone expects either Parnell or Niese to crack the rotation, but the competition will be a good experience for both.
In the end, I think one of the things to observe this year, is how well Pedro pitches this year in comparison to the production we get out of the eventual winner for the final rotation spot.
Many believe that neither Garcia or Redding are an upgrade to Pedro Martinez. And while that may ultimately be the case, it’s a little too premature to make such assertions, especially when Pedro has yet to sign with anyone.