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Friday, April 02, 2004

Mets Rotation Set (for now) 

Word on the street (Ed Coleman announced on WFAN) that the Mets have set their starting rotation:

Yates # 4
Erickson # 5
Roberts to the pen
Seo to Norfolk

The situation still seems a bit fluid in that rumors are churning that Erickson could be traded and the exact make-up of the bull pen will depend on whether or not Jose Reyes starts the season on the DL.

Late Edit: so far this is the only link I can find confirming Coleman.

Late Late Edit:
A Mets.com article is up.

The Mets starting rotation decision is symbolic of the confusion in organizational direction the team currently finds itself in. Earlier in the week I spoke of the two sides of the Mets' house: the wing under renovation and the old, weathered wing that would not be rebuilt just yet. Is this the right approach? Should the Mets just gut the damn house? It seems they don't know either. In finally setting their starting rotation the Mets proved they are just as confused as us about what needs to be done. On one hand, the Mets give 26 year old hard throwing Tyler Yates a job in the starting rotation as the 4th starter. He has perhaps the most upside of any of the pitchers competing for the job and he showed it this spring, out pitching every one of them. Yates' inclusion in the rotation is a bold move. He could probably use a little more seasoning in Norfolk but the Mets are most likely not going anywhere so why not get the kid up in the bigs to see what he can do. On the other hand, the Mets do the antithesis of the Yates move in giving the fifth spot in the rotation to 36 year old has been Scott Erickson. Erickson has nothing to do with the long term success of this team whatsoever. By taking Erickson north, the Mets relegate promising young hurler Grant Roberts to the bull pen and worse yet, Jae Seo to AAA. I said earlier in the day that I wouldn't mind if Seo was sent to Norfolk if that meant that both Yates and Roberts started the season in the starting rotation. Sending Seo to Norfolk so that Scott Erickson has a place in the rotation is something completely different.

I'm grasping for a silver lining and I can only come up with this lame piece of speculation. Seo obviously needed a little more work to get the kinks out. He can do that in Norfolk. A stint in AAA did wonders for Steve Trachel a while back and he was a MLB veteran. So the Mets send him to Norfolk knowing that the 5th starter's first appearance is Saturday, April 10th against Montreal in San Juan. Sending Seo out against the Expos, with how badly he's pitched, in that stadium that makes Coors field look like Shea would be like sending the lambs to the slaughter. Instead, the Mets will send sinker baller Erickson out there who can do a better job keeping the ball on the ground. At the same time, naming Erickson to the starting rotation bolsters his reputation throughout the league and the Mets will pursue trade options over the course of the next few weeks. Seo will use this time to get himself on track in AAA. When Erickson is gone the Mets can reevaluate who, between Yates, Roberts, Seo and Heilman, should comprise the 4 and 5 spots. I'm going to re-read this paragraph another 999999999 times in order to convince myself that this is the Mets' thinking.
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