The good news is Mets fans don’t have to pull their hair out watching Mike Pelfrey pitch for the rest of the year. The bad news is what the options to replace him are.
The Mets starting pitching depth has been severely tested since Mike Pelfrey blew out his arm and had Tommy John surgery. The first man up to replace him was Chris Schwinden, a second year pitcher with little upside. Right now he is the smartest choice for the job, but after getting lit up in his first start he is on thin ice.
There are no options in free agency since all viable pitchers have been long gone. It is also too early in the season to pursue trades because everyone still thinks they have a chance to make the playoffs. The only option is to promote from within the organization and the question is who should the team promote?
Chris Schwinden was the clear first choice. However, he lacks upside and if he struggles, there is no point to have him pitch. There are a few lower tier prospects the Mets could call up like Robert Carson or Colin McHugh. It would be nice to find out what type of major leaguers they could become. Both players however have limited ceilings and may not be ready for the show.
The best options would be Matt Harvey or Jeurys Familia. The only argument against either coming up from the minors is if they are ready for the show. If the answer is yes, there should be no hesitation to call one of them up. They are two of the top three prospects in the organization, and both have massive upside.
It is important to see what the Mets have in both, especially Familia who many think fits better in the bullpen. There is no question both pitchers have the stuff to be very good pitchers right now, but the problem is do they had enough seasoning in the minor leagues. Many would argue against starting their service time clock in a season where the Mets probably won’t contend. However in this day and age of baseball, players aren’t making it to free agency. If you’re a good young player, then you’re going to get a long term deal very early, like Jon Niese, Evan Longoria, Carlos Santana and many others.
Both pitchers would need to string together a few good starts in the minors to warrant a call-up. They have both had slow starts this year but have improved somewhat in their last couple of starts, so I think that is worth the risk to call-up either pitcher if Schwinden struggles.