This season the Mets have seen many new additions to their big league roster in order to compensate for their injured stars. Some of these roles have been occupied by career minor leaguers, while others have been filled by seasoned veterans, who have shuttled between teams throughout their career.
In particular the starting pitching staff has been decimated by injuries. Three of the team’s top pitchers (Santana, Maine and Perez) are all currently on the disabled list, and only one of them (Maine) has any chance of coming back by the season’s end.
Let’s take a look at these players and examine whether or not they are worthy of a role with the team in 2010.
Nelson Figueroa –
In the words of SNY personality Adam Schein, Nelson Figueroa is “my guy”.
Despite riding the Heath Bell express throughout his two years in the big apple, Figueroa has generally been reliable to make a spot start or a long relief appearance.
He maybe 35 years of age, which makes him no youngster, but Figgy has shown this year he can still pitch effectively at the major league level.
As a matter of fact in his one of his recent starts against the Chicago Cubs, Figueroa pitched one of the best games in his career when he struck out ten batters and held the opposition to only one run.
In 38 innings pitched this year, Figueroa has maintained a 4.74 ERA, which is just a hair above his career average (4.62).
One thing to keep in mind with Nelson is that he is not a lights out pitcher, and he generally does not pitch very deep into games.
What makes Figueroa so attractive is the bevy of international experience this player has. He has pitched all over the globe and has found success pretty much everywhere he has been.
Verdict:I like what Figueroa has done for the depleted ball club this year, however I would not give him a guaranteed major league deal, which he has been seeking the past few seasons. What I would offer him, though, is another minor league deal that way he could possibly help the club later on next season if injuries strike. The rest of the decision would be left in his hands.
Tim Redding –
It’s been a rough year for The Honeymooners star, Joyce Randolph’s grand-nephrew, Tim Redding. Sidelined by a foot injury in Spring Training that resulted in arm trouble later on, Redding has had a tough season to say the least. To add insult to injury had it not been for the rash of injuries, Redding would have been released a couple of months ago.
Luckily, for him he has strung together three strong outings in his past three starts, including holding the potent Philadelphia Phillies lineup to just one run over five innings. Redding brings to the table veteran experience and has had some success at the major league level with both Houston and Washington.
This year with the Mets, Redding has appeared in 25 games and started 12 of them. Over that period of time he has pitched to a 5.70 ERA with a 60:37 K:BB Ratio.
Looking solely at the stats it would appear that Redding is an easy candidate to be let go at the year’s end, but he does make a case to stay.
Despite, being ridiculed by both the fans and the media, and even being shunned by his own teammates Redding has still kept his head up and remained professional.
Also, as field reporter, Kevin Burkhardt, pointed out, Redding is still arbitration eligible, which could improve the chances of him being brought back.
Verdict: Even with a strong showing down the stretch I don’t see Redding pitching in a Mets uniform. It’s a shame because he seems like a good guy overall and a good teammate, but it is what it is. I think he will find work at as back-of-the-rotation starter on another NL team.
Pat Misch –
Pat Misch has been quite a bargain for the Mets, since they claimed him off of waivers from the Giants earlier in the year. Before joining the Mets, Misch had spent two seasons as both a starter and reliever in San Francisco. At that time it appeared Misch did not have big league stuff.
However, Pat has put all that behind him and cherished the change of scenery from one coast to the other. In his brief Mets tenure Misch has been rather impressive.
In 17 games this year with New York, Misch has posted a 2.48 ERA. This includes two appearances as a starter, both of which lasted seven innings.
Misch is not a hard thrower and doesn’t strike out many batters. As a matter of fact his K:BB ratio with the Mets is practically 1:1 (18:14). Instead of trying to baffle hitters he pitches to contact and induces many fly outs.
His pitching style fits Citi Field rather well because the ballpark does not yield many home runs due to it’s deep dimensions.
Although Misch is pitching very well as a starter right now, I do not see that being his role with the team for the long term.
As Ed Ryan at Mets Fever points out, Misch’s career numbers as a reliever (2.85 ERA) are far better than those in the twelve games he has started (6.32).
Thus, I see him as a long reliever, who can also take some of the burden off of Pedro Feliciano when it comes to getting left-handed hitters out.
Verdict: Misch should absolutely be brought back next season. He’s cheap, young and has good stuff. The Mets cannot count on him to be a starter, but I think he would be very successful out of the bullpen. In the event of an injury Misch would be available to slide in and provide the team with a player, who has the ability to pitch quality outings.