The Mets are currently going with a six-man pitching rotation. And I have to ask — why, exactly?
The original rationale was to give the surgically-repaired shoulders of Johan Santana and Chris Young extra rest between starts. Good idea, but Santana is done for the year and we found out Tuesday night that Young pitches even worse with extra rest than with his usual rest.
So there seems to be no real reason to do it anymore.
The way I look at it, the Mets should do one of two things. Option one would be to remove Jeremy Hefner from the rotation and put him back in the bullpen. Hefner is a pretty good pitcher (who pitched an incredible game on Sunday), but I think we’ve seen enough of him to know that he will be a back of the rotation guy at best, a long reliever/spot starter at worst. He will never be a star, but he could be a valuable member of the bullpen in 2013.
I’m not a fan of this option only because there is a better one — remove Young from the rotation and the roster. We’ve seen enough of Young to know that he will not be part of the team for 2013. He is 3-7 with a 4.64 ERA that is rapidly climbing. Only eight of his 15 starts are classified as “quality starts,” not my favorite stat but indicative of his performance.
I understand that Sandy Alderson wants to field the team that gives the Mets the best chance to win, and that’s fine. But does he really think Young gives the Mets a better chance of winning that any of the younger starters? If so, Alderson is not watching the games.
With one month left in the season, it is time to start evaluating players for next season. Young won’t be around, but guys like Hefner and Collin McHugh might. Let’s see what they can do on the normal rest they would get in a regular rotation.
At the very least if they can distinguish themselves, they could be trade bait to improve other parts of the team. The Mets have a plethora of young starting pitching; Alderson can deal from strength to make the rest of the team better. Let’s start the process now.