Could Figueroa Slip In That Last Spot?

An article by posted on March 15, 2009

Redding has been shut down, Garcia has been pretty terrible and Livan
Hernandez has been tolerable. That is the state of the Mets fifth
rotation spot. The struggles of these three has left the door open for
Niese, and the door possibly open for bringing back Pedro but there is
another pitcher who is starting to impress in my mind and that is
Figueroa. Figueroa has pitched 8 innings this spring between the Mets
and the WBC (official games). Over those eight innings he has been
very, very good:

     Mets: 2 G, 3.0 IP, H, K, BB
     PR: 3 G, 5.0 IP, 2H, 4 K, 3 BB

Over
these eight innings, he is yet to allow an earned run, and when he gets
in trouble, he gets out of trouble without allowing anything to effect
the score. He is pitching at least well enough to be allowed to compete
for that last starter spot when PR’s ride is over with the WBC. There
are also a few things that will work in his, and the Mets favor. The
Mets do not need to declare their fifth starter at the beginning of the
season because they can survive at first with a four man rotation
thanks to off days. That means the Mets will have more time for
deciding their fifth starter. Also, the fifth starting spot will
probably change as the season goes on, so there is nothing wrong with
starting with Figueroa and then switching over to a healthy Redding, or
whoever on the Mets decides to wake up one day and take that last spot.
 
That being said, this is probably extremely unlikely. It seems
right now that the Mets will either go with Hernandez in the pen as the
long man and Niese as the fifth starter, or just Hernandez period as
the fifth man, and neither option is a bad option. This entire
situation will become more clear as we get closer to opening day.

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About the Author ()

My name is Elliot and I’ve been writing the Game Preview posts at MMO since 2008. I am excited to be back sharing my thoughts with you. When I’m not watching the Mets, I’m a Physics Teacher in Newark, NJ and writing about the Mets at 213 Miles From Shea. LGM!

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