Is Schwinden A Viable Replacement For Pelfrey?

An article by posted on May 2, 2012

We received some good news from the Mets that Mike Pelfrey had successful Tommy John surgery yesterday which was performed by Dr. James Andrews. Pelfrey is back home in Wichita, Kansas to recover and eventually begin the long road to rehab and recovery. We at MMO wich him all the best and a speedy recovery.

This afternoon, Chris Schwinden will make his second start since replacing Mike Pelfrey in the rotation. He has a tough task ahead of him as the Mets are hoping to avoid a sweep at the hands of the worst team in baseball, the Houston Astros.

I wanted to look ahead and see what some of our writers thought about the prospect of Schwinden replacing Pelfrey over the short and long term this season. Is Chris Schwinden the answer for the Mets or do you have any other options?

Satish – It makes me sad that we are talking about this because of injury and not performance – since a few months ago, people were having this discussion just based on Pelf’s past numbers. I think Schwinden is a good stopgap until around September. That will give guys like Harvey, Familia, Wheeler (our big three) time to develop in the minors. There is no rush for them to get up here, so if they are not ready in September, no reason to force call them up either.

Pete – I like the idea of giving Schwinden a fair shot. He has earned it. That said, if he doesn’t start to pitch effectively and with some consistency, after about 5 or 6 starts I would like to see what Jeremy Hefner is capable of. Dylan Owen is also starting to emerge as an interesting option if he keeps pitching the way he has.

Tyler – For the time being, he will be. Right now we don’t really have many options to replace Pelfrey with, and we won’t be rushing anyone either. Until Chris Young is ready, Schwinden will be the answer. Will be pitch well? Only time will tell.

Dan V. – Anyone is better than Chris Schwinden. Well….other than Miguel Batista of course. But, it appears the options we have are not the best so I am willing to give him another start. If he struggles in his next start he’s out. We can try Garret Olson or Jeremy Hefner to see if either one can fill the void. I don’t want to rush Harvey or Familia so one of the 3 aforementioned starters can hopefully help until Chris Young is ready.

Gregg H. – I thinks its too early to decide if Schwinden is the answer as Pelf’s replacement. It’s impossible to judge a pitcher on one start, let alone one start at Coors Field. I think Schwinden needs at least two more starts. The Mets need to determine if he can be effective at this level, and also to see how he manages a tough inning.

Jim – Schwinden definitely is not the answer. It’s a big injury risk, but the answer could be Chris Young when he’s ready hopefully sometime in May. He had a 1.88 ERA in four starts last year. He could be the key guy. We would likely need Schwinden to fill in though until Young is ready.

XtreemIcon – For now, unless he has a string of bad starts. I’d then give Hefner a shot and Garrett Olson is starting in Buffalo and pitching well. And there’s Chris Young when he’s healthy. After Hefner, I’d exhaust all my veteran arm options to stave off rushing Harvey or Familia up.

Jessep – Probably not. I think the Mets will wait for Chris Young and hope he’s healthy enough to grab that role. If not, Harvey will get a chance before the summer.

Joe S. – I think its unfortunately the only option unless Young is healthy enough to contribute. It would be tempting to rush Harvey but long term that would be foolish.

The way I see it, Schwinden has a very similar makeup to Dillon Gee who I view mostly as a number five type starter. Not that Pelfrey was that much better if you go by last season, but before getting hurt Pelfrey was actually showing signs that he had finally elevated his performance to a new level. Sadly, we’ll never know for sure, but he left some solid peripherals in his wake.

Ultimately, whatever the Mets do decide must be based on what is best for the organization. That would preclude rushing either Matt Harvey or Jeurys Familia to the majors as so many are already suggesting. Jeremy Hefner may be a strong candidate for consideration as so is Dylan Owen, but fans shouldn’t expect them to come up and explode onto the scene ala Dwight Gooden. That’s not happening. The Mets need them to simply keep the team in the game and the balls in the ballpark. If they can do that until such time as one of our superior prospects are ready, then the Mets would have done well both in the short and long term of the 2012 season.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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