McDonald: No 5. Pitcher Has Been Source Of Mets Problems

You don’t need to cut a paycheck from a Major League club to know the obvious.

The Mets need a starter.

Matt Harvey’s spot in the rotation has been a black hole for the club all season. Because Harvey was suffering through Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, he only went 4-10 with a 4.86 ERA and then it got worse.

The black hole of the No. 5 starter has been killing the Mets. Logan Verrett went 0-3 with a 7.30 ERA and then last night Jon Niese gave up four runs in 4.2 innings, ballooning his ERA to 5.30 for the season with the Pirates and Mets.

Ouch. Remember this was supposed to be the Mets strength.

If any of these pitchers were worth their salt and the Mets went .500 for the season from the No. 5 slot, they would be solidly in the Wild Card race and no one would complain.

Forget the offense; it’s that slot in the rotation that’s torpedoing the Amazin’s season.

So what to do? Well right now, the Mets don’t seem to know. They have an off-day on Monday, so they can skip the slot, but they haven’t gotten that far yet.

“We don’t make those decisions this far in advance,” Collins said to reporters last night in Phoenix. “It’s a viable point, but we’ve got to wait to see what happens in the next couple of days.”

Sure, with the way this season is going, someone could go down again.

But the Mets have some good news, because Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera, Justin Ruggiano are all rejoining the club after minor league rehab stints. Cespedes will be eligible tomorrow, while the other two should play tonight.

Unfortunately, none of them pitch and unless general manager Sandy Alderson does a waiver trade, the options seem to be thin.

Unlike past seasons, when there was a horse in the minors, the starting prospects seem to be of the fringe type. Gabriel Ynoa, Seth Lugo and even Robert Gsellman are all options, but none of them seem to be long term options.

And going back to the well with Niese shouldn’t be an option either. The Flushing faithful might hate Nieses to pieces, but opposing batters love seem to love him.

So the only thing the Mets can do right now is wait it out and hope that whomever is next in the rotation will do a better job. And maybe a waiver claim could be made.

Because it can’t get much worse than right now.

Anyone can see that.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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