(taken out of context, perhaps, but this is the first time and last time anyone will suggest the man above is missed in any capacity)
Having squandered excellent starting perfomances by R.A. Dickey and Jonathan Niese respectively over the past two nights, the offensively challenged Mets have dropped a pair to San Francisco to start their 2nd half, and while the club’s offensive woes — in no small part due to the lack of production from Jason Bay and Jeff “Never Met A Pitch I Didn’t Like” Francoeur — are an obvious concern, NY Baseball Digest’s Mike Silva argues the lack of pitching depth will ultimately leave the Amazins on the outside looking in this October. “Not signing a veteran starter like Joel Pineiro or a second lefty out of the Ron Mahay, Joe Beimel, and Will Ohman group is haunting them,”
The Mets have lost ten games in their final turn at bat. Much of that is due to a manager who can™t figure out bullpen construction. However, a large part is due to a pen that is clearly short. Pedro Feliciano has needed a second lefty to help him out since the day Scott Schoeneweis left town. The Mets have brought in lefties, but none who is successful in getting LH hitters out. Considering the aforementioned trio has lefties hitting for an OPS of .472, .477, and .538 just amplifies the situation. All could have been had late in the offseason for a couple of million dollars or Gary Matthews Jr. type money.
The starting pitching situation is more frustrating. Teams need about 8 starters to get through a season. Since it appears that Dillon Gee and Tobi Stoner were never serious candidates to fill in on the 25 man roster I wonder what the insurance for Maine and Perez was planned to be. Yes, R.A Dickey has been a godsend, but Hisanori Takahashi clearly thrives in the bullpen. A veteran starter like Joel Pineiro, Jon Garland, or Ben Sheets could have done wonders with this group. Think of all the lost Oliver Perez/John Maine starts and how simply 6 innings of 3 run ball could have changed the outcome. All three are capable of such a performance and now the Mets may need to give up a prospect to acquire a similar type of pitcher.
The obsessive Mets blogosphere will point out the extra money was spent on Alex Cora, Matthews Jr., and Mike Jacobs. If the Mets are at a point where those players prevent them from picking up Jon Garland for 1 year at $5 million dollars than we need to have another conversation.
Ahem. Not to claim membership in an obsessive Mets blogosphere or anything, but the cash wasted on Kelvim Escobar (a guaranteed $1.25 million, characterized by Silva as “a roll of the dice”) could’ve been spent elsewhere, too.