I know there are rumors flying around like crazy about pending free agent signings, and that the Mets are interested in the likes of Ben Sheets, Joel Pineiro and John Smoltz. And while any of those guys are capable of stepping in and being, at the very least, our #4 starter, we should be prepared for the worst. And that “worst” is the depth chart in our starting rotation as it stands today—Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, Oliver Perez, and either Jon Niese or Fernando Nieve.
All six of those guys have battled injury recently, and Maine is on the DL once or twice every season. Santana is coming back from elbow surgery, Pelfrey had a very inconsistent season as his role on the team became more prominent, and Perez absolutely flamed out once he signed that huge 3-year deal. He came back stronger later in the season, but the guy has clearly lost something, either physically or mentally. Niese and Nieve showed promise but that’s about it.
So here we are less than a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Florida, and we have basically the same starting staff as in 2009, the one that was a big reason for one of the worst seasons in quite some time—and one that can be considered a disaster based on the fact that this team went into 2009 as a playoff contender. And based on this team’s injury history of late, adding a re-tread or two wouldn’t give me that much more hope.
Sure, we may be pleasantly surprised, but we certainly need to be prepared for the alternative.