Nice interview in the NY Post this morning with former Met and SNY Analyst Bobby Ojeda.
Q: Based on the inconsistency Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez and John Maine have shown this spring training, do you think the Mets made a mistake not picking up another starter this offseason?
A: I would have agreed with that statement last year. But this year, I honestly believe Mike Pelfrey will be better after last year’s experience. John Maine being healthy will be a difference. Oliver Perez looks a lot better. I’d love to see them not so concerned with Ollie repeating his delivery because I don’t think he will ever have a consistent, athletic delivery.
Q: But you understand why Mets fans would be concerned about the rotation?
A: Well, those pitchers all learned how to take a punch last year. On days when they don’t have their best stuff, they have to find a way to battle through the early innings. That’s the big step I would like to see them all take. [Catcher] Rod Barajas has really impressed me this spring, and he should be a big help for the rotation, too.
Q: Do you think Jenrry Mejia is major league ready?
A: I am a big believer in you can’t get by with one pitch. When I was [in Florida] earlier in spring training, his other pitchers were coming along, but the fastball is the only pitch he can depend on. And if there is a day when that fastball doesn’t show up, then he would have no plan B.
That’s an astute observation that Ojeda made about Jenrry Mejia and his lack of a quality second pitch. I also agree with him that a catcher like Rod Barajas will bring more stability to the rotation. I’m not as enthusiastic as Ojeda is about Pelfrey, Maine and Perez though. Especially Pelfrey.
One of the best things the Mets did in recent years, was replacing Lee Mazzilli with Bobby O. I always feel a little bit more in tune to the Mets plight when listening to Ojeda, and always come away knowing more about the team than I did before.
To hear Bobby weigh in on expectations, injuries and surviving without Carlos Beltran, read the rest of his interview here.