I knew I wanted to write something about the Mets’ starting rotation after reading an article in The Sporting News about the Mets being one of this off-season’s “losers,” citing the fact that they did not address the “gaping holes” in the starting pitching rotation. Well, yeah, but we are likely going to go into the 2010 season with a starting staff of Johan Santana, John Maine, Mike Pelfrey, Ollie Perez and Fernando Nieve. And unless one of us gets a call to replace Omar Minaya, there isn’t much we can do about it.
Which brings me to this next piece I just found in the New York Daily News from last week, as John Harper asked Mets’ ace Santana what he thought of the guys who will follow him in said rotation. Talk about glass half full. For kicks, let’s compare what Santana said in the article to what I would say.
Johan S: I saw a different Ollie (at minicamp three weeks ago). He’s hungry. He still needs to be Ollie Perez, the guy who has fun, but seeing him very positive, very challenging now, I’m expecting a lot from him. His knee is healthy, too. People don’t know there were times last year he wasn’t even able to walk on it.
Mikey J: If Omar Minaya backed up a Brinks truck to the East River and shoveled out $36 million into the water, we would say he was crazy, right? Giving that amount to Ollie P over three years was stupid, so apparently Minaya would rather be stupid than crazy.
Johan S: He’s got the stuff to be great. Man, if I had his stuff, oh, my God. That sinker that he throws at 95, it’s unbelievable. It’s a matter of consistency and being more mature, and I really believe he’s a more mature pitcher after feeling like he had to step in for me (late) last season.
Mikey J: Um, Big Pelf had a very average season, and he didn’t step into anything. And dude just couldn’t stop licking himself. No guy who wants to aspire to even be the temporary #1 pitcher gets the “yips” and balks three times in an inning. Oh wait, there’s Rick Ankiel. Anyway, if Johan really did have Pelfrey’s stuff, he would be saying “oh my God!” for real.
Johan S: Being pain-free makes all the difference. That thing in his shoulder, he couldn’t pitch with it. He’s got the stuff and he’s got the mentality, and now he’s healthy again.
Mikey J: Hearing John Maine is “healthy again” is like hearing that Brett Favre is “ready to retire” from the NFL. But Maine will give us a quality 75 to 150 innings before spending August and September on the DL again.
Thanks, Johan. We are glad you are optimistic and look forward to you being one of the team’s few bright spots. And we thank you for not wanting to go back to Minnesota just yet.