With Cliff Lee out of the picture, it is looking like the Mets are going to stick with their squad for the rest of the season (fingers crossed for the return of Ty Wiggington).

From what I’ve seen out of the Mets starting rotation so far, Hisanori Takahashi is not a guy who should be in the rotation for a contending team such as the Mets. Takahashi is the kind of guy who has great off speed stuff, rarely blows anyone away with his fastball, and has questionable stamina after pitching on a seven man rotation in Japan.

The problem with Takahashi is that he does not mix up his pitches very well. Gary Cohen and the guys at SNY made the point that by the second time through the order, guys have him pinned. Nevertheless, teams facing him consistently throughout the whole season hit him hard.

In my opinion, this makes Takahashi the ideal long relief guy that will pitch no more then two or three innings. Guys won’t be able read his stuff as well, plus his numbers as a reliever were stellar, so he has proven himself already in that role.

The fifth spot in the rotation shouldn’t be a problem, as the the Mets have so many possible candidates. Guys like Raul Valdes, Bobby Parnell, Fernando Nieve, Pat Misch, Jenry Meija, Oliver Perez, John Maine, Tobi Stoner, and Ryota Igarashi are all capable of filling Takahashi’s shoes. Excluding Meija, who the Mets obviously see immense potential in and want him to develop down in Binghamton, why not give all these guys a shot for the fifth spot?



First, I’ll talk about Valdes. I feel as if this guy hasn’t gotten a fair shake all season and should definitely be one of the guys in consideration for a spot in the rotation.

Parnell has been downhill ever since he hit 100 on the gun in Florida last season, but why not give him a shot, he showed flashed of being a quality starter at the end of last season.

Nieve was a starter for a good portion of 2009 (then again who wasn’t) and put up productive numbers ( 3-3, 2.95 ERA). His downside is very valuable in the pen; he has some control issues, and is “Mr. Everyday” along with Pedro Feliciano.

Misch was 3-4 with a 4.48 ERA in seven games started. He is 28 and in his prime, not to mention this guy has the potential to be the next Mike Pelfrey. This year, Misch is 9-3 with a 3.12 ERA in Buffalo this season and he definitely deserves a shot when hes pitching this well while in his prime. Of all scenarios, this is my favorite.

Meija needs time, plain and simple. I don’t think we should rush him into anything.

Perez and Maine have both burned their bridges in New York. Can John Maine throw an 85 mph fastball anymore?


I am optimistic that since hes such a competitor he can rebound, but if not, the Mets should get rid of him fast or this bad situation could get even worse.

Now for Ollie, chances are he gets the job if Jerry Manuel decides to throw Takahashi back in the bullpen, but I say Jerry should a very close eye on him. A few bad starts, and Ollie should be out.

Stoner, who is struggling in Buffalo this season (4-7, 5.54 ERA), probably won’t be getting a call up anytime soon, but maybe in a year or two we’ll hear the 25-year-old Stoner get a call up.

Finally, Igarashi. I feel would be the same situation as Takahashi, probably a downgrade. He throws 95, but has location problems too often.

Keep in mind, if any of these guys struggle, I say the Mets should move them back to the pen or back to the minors, depending on the situation. What I am hoping is out of these guys the Mets find a surprise like R.A. Dickey or Jon Niese .

So why not have a five man rotation for the fifth spot?

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