Bryant Clipper William Cullen Bryant High School Long Island City, NY
Issue Date: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 Issue: March 2011 Last Update: Friday, March 11, 2011


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- NY Mets

Starting Rotation

            The Mets have a bonafide ace in Johan Santana. At age of 31, Santana has not shown any substantial sign of slowing down as he had an ERA of 2.98 last season. Instead, a major subject of concern is Santana’s shoulder, with a date for return largely uncertain. After Santana, Mike Pelfrey is the closest to a sure thing. In the first half of the 2010 season Pelfrey posted 10 wins. However, he finished the season with only five more wins and far less prevailing play.

            The 24 year old Jon Niese has displayed development into a solid third starter. He has shown a steady pace of improvement over the past three seasons and looks to build upon it this year. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is coming off his best season with 11 wins in 26 starts, as well as a top-notch ERA of 2.84. Conversely, he is 36 years old and will not be relied upon as a long term option.

            With Santana appearing to be indefinitely out and the fifth starting spot wide open, the Mets remain with two completely vacant jobs. The most qualified candidates appear to be Chris Young and Chris Capuano who had 18 wins in 2005. Prospects Jenrry Mejia and Dillon Gee show plenty of promise but should not be expected to fill in the role immediately. Without Santana, the rotation is doomed to be inconsistent; at best a house of cards ready to fall.

Grade: D+



            For many teams the most vital part to success is bridging a game with the lead to the closer. While the Mets have the single season record holder for saves, Francisco Rodriguez is a major drop off in the reliability of the rest of the bullpen. Much of this is due to the departure of innings-eater Pedro Feliciano, who has pitched in 266 games the past three seasons and spot-starter Hisanori Takahashi. This will require not only a setup-man to emerge, which the Mets had heavy trouble doing so last year, but also a reliable middle-reliever and a lefty-specialist.

            The Mets may look to non-roster invitees Tim Byrdak and Taylor Tankersley to fill in the lefty-specialist role. Byrdak had an ERA of 1.69 versus left-handed batters and Tankersley has only allowed lefties to hit .200 off him during his career. The middle-reliever will most likely be Manny Acosta, as he had a WHIP, walks/hits allowed per inning pitched, of 1.21 last season. The setup-man role is a position of trust and Bobby Parnell will certainly be asked to take the reigns as he has in the past. However, in his 99 appearances from innings seven-through-nine opposing batters are hitting .284. Parnell must show more to hold such an intricate role and stabilize the bullpen. 

Grade: C-


Projected Record: 75-87


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