Friday, April 02, 2004

And Down the Stretch They Come! 

The Mets demoted Aaron Hillman and James Baldwin to the minors thus limiting the race for the Mets starting rotation to three horses: Scott Erickson, Tyler Yates and Grant Roberts. However, with Jae Seo recently falling out of favor due to a combination of poor pitching and poor attitude, it now seems that both the fourth and fifth spots are up for grabs. With the season almost upon us, the Mets have to make a decision "by midnight tomorrow," according to the Post. Start Seo at Norfolk. Yes, Seo had a nice rookie campaign but as Janet Jackson said, "what have you done for me lately." (jeez, yesterday I quote Cindi Lauper and today Janet, Ms. Jackson if you're nasty - what's going on!). If this was a true competition for the back end of the rotation then the Mets should treat it as such. Yates has pitched the best and deserves one of the spots. That leaves Roberts and Erickson. Erickson is on his game when he's inducing ground balls. By all accounts, he has been on his game this spring. This has all the making of a disaster for a Met infield not ready to handle a power sinker baller inducing ground balls all day long. Jose Reyes looks like he's headed to the DL to start the season and Kaz Matsui has had limited playing time due to his own injuries to adjust to playing on natural grass and dirt fields. Ty Wigginton, while improving, has range issues at third and no one is expecting much in terms of defensive ability from a Piazza/Phillips platoon at first. The last thing this infield needs is a beginning of the year trial by fire trying to back up Scott Erickson. Hand the fourth and fifth starter spots to Yates and Roberts. It's their time to shine. If they falter, then the Mets have the luxury of Erickson, who can water John Franco's tomato plants in the pen, and both Heilman and Seo to bring up.
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