http://blog.nj.com/ledgermets/2008/03/small_five.jpgAccording to Adam Rubin "Fifth starter candidates: Nieve, Niese, Takahashi, Fogg, Figueroa, Misch."This is pretty much what we expected.   Looking at each pitcher's positives and negatives, we could have a nice spring training battle for the starting spot that we hope pitches the least.   Today, I ask who of these least do you want to pitch the most?Nieve: 26 year old RH who started 7 games for the Mets in 2009.   His starting ERA may have been misleading as he had a 3.12 ERA but a 1.558 WHIP.   Nieve gave up 35 hits and 19 walks in 34.2 innings.   For his career he has started 18 games and produced a 4.11 ERA in 96.1 innings with a WHIP of 1.391.   Nieve of course like most Mets pitchers was injured during the season last year.   He torn a right quadriceps muscle trying to leg out an infield single.Niese: 23 year old LH who has started 8 games for the Mets over his career.   Niese struggled in his call up in 2008 and again in his first exposure in 2009.   He   pitched 2 games in the first half of 2009 ending with a dismal 5.91 ERA in 10.2 innings.   After initially struggling again in AAA after the demotion in   June things seemed to click.   In 66 innings for June and July in AAA, Niese gave up 47 hits and 14 W for a WHIP of .92.   After the Nieve injury Niese was again called up on to pitch for the Mets.   After 2 starts, a 7 inning performance with 4 hits and one run and a start with 6.1 innings and 4 runs, like clock work Niese fell to a mysterious injury in his 3rd start in the 2nd inning. Takahashi:   34 year old   LHP. The new guy.   We have all read reports on him. Adam Rubin reports: "A former No. 1 pick in Japan, he pitched for the Yomiuri Giants for the past 10 years, including one season as the team's closer. He was 10-6 with a 2.94 ERA, sixth in the league, as a starter last sesaon, as the Giants repeated as champions. His record over the past three seasons in 74 starts is 32-15 with a 3.18 ERA."It appears according to Rubin that Takahashi chose the Mets because their 5th starter and 2nd LHRP spots are wide open.   According to Ken Davidoff on Twitter: "Scout from another club calls #Mets' Takahashi "Jamie Moyer with a little bit better velocity."Fogg: 33 year old   RHP.   Fogg has been a terrible starter for most of his career.   His line is an ugly 62-67 with a 5.16 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.   It seems as though last year he found his new role as a relief pitcher instead.   Posting a 2.74 ERA in 42+ innings with a WHIP near 1.00.   Hopefully the Mets only see him as a replacement for Brian Stokes.Figgy: 35 year old RH journeyman AAAA player with a cult following.   His stats as a starter were certainly passable last season posting a 4.19 ERA in 58 innings over 10 starts with a WHIP of 1.397.   I think Figueroa is perfect for what he is, an emergency AAAA starter that can also pitch from the pen when needed.   He has a rubber arm and is very useful to the Mets in that role.   However, lets remember that he has been released multiple times and last season appeared to beg any team to give him a better offer and still ended up back in NY for AAA.Misch: 27 year old LH who had his best MLB season last year for the Mets.   He seems to fit the definition of swing man perfectly.   As a starter last season Misch had pitched 7 games and 40+ innings with an ERA of 4.69 and a WHIP of 1.314.   As a reliever he appeared in 19 games with a 4.09 ERA.   As a LHP who can also be a long reliever I think he has a very good shot of making the team in some form.So there you have it.   Any other names we should consider?   In your opinion, who has the inside track in what may be a great race to the beginning.<br /> <a href="http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/2690257/" mce_href="http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/2690257/">Who has the inside track for the #5 starter slot?</a><span style="font-size:9px;" mce_style="font-size:9px;">(<a href="http://www.polldaddy.com" mce_href="http://www.polldaddy.com">polls</a>)</span><br />