Monday, May 01, 2006

Two of three, but some cause for concern....

...and primarily in the rotation.
As the Mets lead going into May is still one of significant comfort in six games over the Braves and Phillies, its time to take some stock in the starting rotation.
With the passing of months during the season, more comparisons will be made with the 1986 club. Two first ballot Hall of Famers are at the top this season's Mets in Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine. Not much to compare here although Doc Gooden was dominate at the time. But it is in who follows where there is great water to navigate.
After Gooden, any of the four remainder of Ron Darling, Rick Aguilera, Sid Fernandez and Bobby Ojeda could be relied upon to deliver a quality start. It was by all measures the best staff in the game, and might well have been over as many as five seasons. Gary Carter pointed out to me last month that had today's play-off system been in place, the Mets probably have been in post season play every year from 1985 through 1990. The starting staff of the time which later included the likes of David Cone and Frank Viola, both Cy Young winners albeit with other teams.
Yesterday's bad day for Steve Trachsel at Turner Field should come as no surprise to anyone. He's now a collective 3-10 in Atlanta over his 12 year career and is now 1-4 against the NL East since his return late last season from back surgery. He's had only three winning seasons. Trachsel is an innings eater and best suited on this club as a fourth or fifth starter.
With tonight's start by Victor Zambrano ominous and tomorrow's John Maine debut not much more than that, one can assume Omar Minaya must note the same. This team is built and invested to win now, and I believe Minaya won't let his cellphone go unused.
Look first toward the struggling. The Minnesota Twins come first to mind. Terry Ryan and Joe McIlavaine know the Mets well and have been trading partners in the past. Johan Santana has struggled, but might be had. But Ryan and Joe Mac wont go for a care package of four of five.
The 1989 deal which brought Frank Viola to Shea, McIlvaine parted with Rick Aguilera, David West and Kevin Tapini. Aguilera was already an established pitcher and had proved effectiveness as a starter and reliever. West was a jewell among prospects. Tapani was felt to be rotation ready and ended up being just that. Tim Drummond, a pitcher was also included in the deal.
McIlvaine balked at the inclusion of outfielder Mark Carreon, but Andy McPhail knew that he had to have a fifth player from a public relations stand-point. So from his St. Louis motel room McIlvaine proposed a player-to-be-named later and McPhail agreed. The trade was consummated before the July 31st deadline and Viola started the next night at Busch Stadium.
Unless scouts indicate there's something terribly irreplably flawed in Santana, or he's not healthy, look for Ryan to shop him. In a smaller market this is the manner in which the twice world champion Twins have done business over the last 20 years. With White Sox, Indians and now the Tigers all playing well in their division assume the extremely wise and pragmatic McIlavine and Ryan to be having quiet conversations in dugouts, in the stands on their cell phones sooner rather than later.
And when August come around the best case scenario for the Mest will be a rotation of Martinez, Glavine, Mike Pelfrey, Steven Trachsel and someone very, very good who's not yet a Met.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home