Should the Mets Inquire About Javier Vazquez?

An article by posted on May 4, 2010

Up until a few days ago, we Mets fans were in heaven on earth. Mets in first, Yanks in 2nd. How could it be any better? I never really understood the fascination with caring about the Yankees record to be honest. I don’t get giddy over the Subway Series either. I worry about Philadelphia-Atlanta-Florida-Washington.

I will say this though; I kind of enjoy this Javier Vazquez saga. I mean, we all know the Yankees are going to the playoffs this year. If they don’t, it would probably go down as the biggest flop ever considering their roster is a who’s who of AL talent. This Vazquez thing has had me thinking though.

I don’t think he is necessarily available, but I do think the Mets have to inquire about it. Obviously we will never know if or when Minaya and friends do pick up the phone. You have to think though, why wouldn’t they? 

I think everybody in New York knows by now that Vazquez in pinstripes is not going to end well. There’s just something about pitching for those fans, and pitching in that league that gets him to forget everything he knows about pitching.

The Yankees likely don’t want to admit they are wrong. They gave up Melky Cabrera who is garbage to Atlanta, but they also gave up Michael Dunn and a prospect that is well thought of in Arodys Vizcaino in the deal.

The Yankees are already telling Vazquez he could lose his rotation spot by skipping him against Boston. They also have Sergio Mitre who clearly doesn’t have the reputation that Vazquez has overall, but he has shown to have the skills to pitch effectively and in all honesty, all a starter needs to do for this team is keep them in the game.

Vazquez is showing a pure inability to get his mind in the game, and the fans are not making it any easier on him.

Tonight would be a key to whether or not I think the Mets should pick up the phone. I think Santana, Pelfrey, Niese and even Perez have pitched to how we’d all expect or ask for. I mean, I picked Perez to be Comeback Player of the Year. Sure, I was probably off, but that at least should tell you I am not surprised he has the potential to throw as he has.

Maine is the piece that the Mets need to figure out. Granted, he had 1 very good start against the Dodgers. The problem with that start for me is it was on get-away day, and the Dodgers were just looking to get home and forget about their road trip. Maine unlike any other Mets starter has the most to prove in my eyes. He hasn’t shown that he has the skills to pitch every 5th day and be consistent.

If he flops tonight, the Mets have to consider calling Brian Cashman and just asking what it would take. For all they know, the Yankees are just looking to get Vazquez out of their uniform before some fan jumps over the rail and escorts Javier out himself.

In 2009 Vazquez’s numbers against the NL East were:

Florida: 0-3 5.46 ERA .273 Avg

Philadelphia: 2-1 3.00 ERA  .207 Avg

Washington: 1-0  1.00 ERA  .103 Avg

I’m not saying I expect him to return to his 2009 self. I mean the guy finished 4th in NL Cy Young votes last year which granted he only received 1 2nd place vote to get there, but that still has to be recognized. I wouldn’t expect him to be some fill-in Ace, but I would expect him to be welcomed to this rotation, and possibly a cheap piece that the Yankees just need to get off their roster to keep their fan base happy.

I believe Javier Vazquez is a better pitcher than John Maine. That’s the bottom line. I think if Vazquez is cheap, and Maine continues to falter, the Mets have to call up their cross town “rivals” and ask if they can help clear the karma around Yankee Stadium.

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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