Maine Closing In On Return To Mets

In a rehab start for Double-A Binghamton yesterday, John Maine pitched four scoreless innings allowing just one hit and two walks, while striking out five.

According to Anthony Coleman of the Trenton Times, Maine’s velocity topped out at 88 mph. Maine didn’t seem too concerned.

“I don’t really worry about velocity. It’s just looking at swings, seeing how they react. It was OK, I guess.”

However, according to Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger,

Mets manager Jerry Manuel indicated that he would need to see an increase in Maine’s fastball velocity before he could move him into the rotation. Manuel hoped for something between 90-92.

McCullough explains why velocity is so important in Maine’s case.

Maine’s arsenal, however, relies on his fastball. Even with his velocity decreasing, he has thrown the pitch 74-percent of the time this year, according to pitch data from Baseball Info Solution. Back in 2007 and 2008, when his average fastball clocked in at 92, he used it 62.9 percent and 71.8 percent. His two secondary pitches, changeup and slider, rely on the fastball.

The Mets placed Maine on the DL with “weakness” in his right shoulder, after he started the season 1-3, with a 6.13 earned run average. The team must activate Maine a maximum of 30 days after he begins a rehab assignment.

Maine is scheduled to pitch in Buffalo on Friday, before being activated.

I don’t see him bumping Niese, Dickey or even Takahashi out of the rotation right now, but he could bump Iggy out of the bullpen and back to the minors.

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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, '00 and '15, 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.