Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Who Will Win the 5th Spot in the Mets Rotation?

Pelfrey: Pelfrey pitched a few games last year for the Mets after only a few innings of professional baseball in April and May. Pelfrey has all the tools to become a dominant starter very soon, but needs to hone his out speed pitches a little bit more. However, I’ve been reading reports that Pelfrey has developed a slider that is coming along nicely. What makes Pelfrey hard to hit is that his fastball is low, sinking, moving fastball. This forces the hitter to hit a lot of balls on the ground and thus make an out. With a change up and slider, Pelfrey could quickly learn to become that dominating pitcher he’s scouted to be. The one negative is really not him physically, but a lack of innings. Pelfrey has yet to pitch a whole season, and as such may need to continue to build stamina. However, Pelfrey does have the ability to help the Mets this year.

Humber: Humber last year was recovering from Tommy John surgery after a disappoint single A season in 2005. Humber surprised everyone in the Mets organization on how fast he rebounded from surgery and the velocity on his pitches. Humber has all the tools, much like Perez, to become an ace for the Mets especially with the hammer curve ball. However, I think it would be wise for the Mets to let Humber get his lumps in AAA before throwing him in the majors to build his stamina and get some experience. Humber has a 90 to 94 mph fastball that broke 97 mph in Atlanta last year, a nasty change up, and a “hammer” (or power) curve ball that described as a plus pitch.

Jorge Sosa: It’s amazing what a difference a year makes. All the talk last year for the Braves was whether Sosa was going to be a dominant closer or an ace starter for 2006. It turns out neither as Sosa fell on his face and then was traded to St. Louis where he also failed miserably. Sosa seems to have lost command on his slider and his change up was rather weak and ineffective. Sosa is the oldest pitcher of the bunch at 30 and needs to show his ability now to be considered an option. More than likely Sosa will entertain the fans in New Orleans for a good portion of the season or become a long reliever/ mop up guy for the Mets bullpen. I consider him an outside shot for the rotation though, as there appears to be better options for the Mets. Peterson could help him out a bit with the change up though.

Chan Ho Park: Chan Ho Park has had a very up and down career. Park was a dominating rookie with the Dodgers and then made the biggest mistake of his career going to Texas Ranges, also known as death for pitchers. Park’s ERA was never below 5.00 with the Rangers and was a complete disaster. Park returned to the National League and a pitcher’s park in San Diego and faired much better before a nasty intestinal illness. Park has a 90 to 92 mph fastball, a nasty curveball, and change up, which makes him a serviceable back of the rotation pitcher. Shea Stadium may just be a perfect stadium for Park and out of all the starters in the veteran category, he is the youngest (33). I can see Park bringing a solid 4.25 to 4.50 ERA mostly due to the park effects of Shea, which would be better than what Trachsel, Zambrano, Lima, or Gonzalez gave to the Mets. In my opinion, Park would be an excellent option for an emergency starter while pitching in AAA.

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