At one point the Mets, while of course these injury concerns were always there, had some starting pitching depth. Santana, Niese, Harvey, Marcum, and Gee were followed by Hefner, McHugh, Mejia and possibly even Gorski and Familia and of course with Wheeler waiting in the wings. Now those question marks have started to look a little more concerning.
We know all about Johan gate, Marcum is a little behind at best, Mejia has an undisclosed health issue and Wheeler is taking his time after a slight strain. With news coming out today that Johan is almost certain to start the season on the DL Hefner has already penciled himself into the starting rotation. If Marcum is not ready the Mets will most likely turn to McHugh. An opening rotation consisting of Hefner and McHugh? Any chances of the Mets getting off to a good start are squashed right there.
Many were clamoring for the Mets to add more SP depth before any of this news even came out, there is an obvious problem with that. What experienced pitcher wants to come in and possibly have to go to AAA if all these health concerns turned out the other way? What if a pitcher like Young signed back in February only to see no spot and have to head out to Vegas to try and prove his worth? However, now with Johan on the DL and Marcum behind schedule there are options out there where with it being March there could be pressure on both the player and the Mets to get something done.
First of all, take any notion of Kyle Loshe out of your mind. It’s not happening. The Mets weren’t fighting the rules for Bourn and they won’t be for Loshe. Also, while the Tigers have Porcello on the block, they are looking for a closer and we conveniently don’t have on of those either.
There are options on the trade market, JA Happ may be out of a job and the Dodgers are loaded with back-end guys in Capuano, Lilly, and Harang.
As for the FA market there are still a few intriguing names out there.
Carl Pavano, Dallas Braden, Chien-Ming Wang, Dustin Moseley, Roy Oswalt, all of course have their own issues but at this point in the season a guy like Pavano or Braden might be willing to come in and prove himself or at least head to AAA for a while in insurance.
Either way, for the Mets most considered the starting rotation to be the strength and any chance of competing rested on their shoulders. Now, they have to hope that Niese, Harvey and Gee continue to develop and the injury issues on Johan and Marcum can at least hold off until help arrives.
I will add this in that yesterday in the Daily News, Martino quoted a Mets official with the following:
“More likely we’ll go with what we have in here,” said one Mets official, while a second source offered an even stronger statement: “We are not even in that (starting pitching) market right now.”