March 8.10: Maine goes today.

John Maine isn’t a project the way Mike Pelfrey and Oliver are, but he’s a question nonetheless. When healthy, the Mets have a reasonable idea what to expect from Maine, once considered a throw-in in the Kris Benson with Baltimore.

But, how healthy is Maine?

“It feels fine,’’ Maine said at the start of spring training when asked about his surgically repaired shoulder. “It feels like it did three, four years ago.’’

Three years ago appeared to be a breakout year for Maine, who made 32 starts and went 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA. However, Maine complained of fatigue in his shoulder the following summer and eventually missed his last seven starts because of surgery to remove bone spurs in his shoulder.

Surgery was deemed successful, but by his own admission he rushed his comeback saying “maybe I was trying to make up for lost time.’’

Maine made only 15 starts last season and went 7-6 with a 4.43 ERA. Maine’s biggest problem last year was an inability to amp it up and pitch out of trouble. He came back at the end of the year to show he was recovering, then modified his off-season program by starting later and throwing less.

Today’s start against the Florida Marlins won’t be about getting people out as it will be another test for his shoulder and to see what he might have picked up working with Sandy Koufax earlier this spring.

Koufax had Maine using a longer stride when delivering his fastball and concentrating on working on the inner half of the plate.

When healthy the Mets have a good idea from what to expect from Maine, although the organization believes the potential ceiling is higher with Pelfrey and Perez.

“I think being able to go out there every five days,’’ Maine said when asked the key for a successful season from him. “When I do go out there I generally give the team a chance to win.’’

Here’s the line-up behind Maine:

Angel Pagan CF
Fernando Martinez RF
David Wright 3B
Jason Bay LF
Daniel Murphy 1B
Rod Barajas C
Russ Adams 2B
Ruben Tejada SS
John Maine RP

14 thoughts on “March 8.10: Maine goes today.

  1. so sandy had him using his legs more and pitching inside so the pitcher gets to use the whole plate?

    Wow. Nothing like teaching the basics to a veteran.

    Why has baseball gone away from the basics? Basics are basics in any walk of life.

  2. The problem is Mets management have their own idea of fundamentals. Wilpon asked Sandy to come and please talk to his pitchers. Ollie being the real project.
    Maine may have rushed it but its the managers/doctor’s fault.
    I would love to see the old John Maine on the plate again.

  3. my comment was to a subject near and dear to your heart.

    pitchers no longer go the distance, all these specialist pitchers. i dont know other teams, but ours stop at 5.5 innings.

    if a pitcher uses his legs like seaver it puts less stress on the arm to generate speed. if they pitch inside it makes the outside pitch that much better.

    pitchers have been squeezed because they let the hitters take half the plate away.

    john /ollie/pelf are all equally important. if 2 of 3 suck, this team is doing nothing.

  4. Its all about going the distant. none of the pitchers of old like the pitch count or how the pitchers throw these days.
    we can only sit back and hope that our prayers will be answered by the baseball gods.

  5. Its NOTHING about going the distance. Its in the past. If a guy can finish a game on 100 pitches then he’ll go all the way. Pitchers like Seaver point to themselves buyt they ignore all the guys like Jim Bouton who couldn’t handle the heavy work load and vanished quickly from the scene because there was no TJ surgery to save their careers. As more and more research is done baseball will find the happy area for each pitcher and get away from the same count for each guy. But even a guy like Seaver willeventually admit he had a pitch count. It was just higher than 100.

  6. I am sorry, I cannot agree with you on this issue. The starter , starts and usually expected to finish. They are taken out for strategy during a close or losing game, they are actually DONE, they should NOT be taken out the 8th inning because they threw 100 pitches its now 7-2 their teams favor. Let the man get the win he earned. unless one of the 2 above issues.
    Let’s not belabor this point because you will have your argument I will have mine. we can all agree pitching is not what it used to be … better or worse or somewhere in between.

  7. part of my problem is that except for the elite pitchers they dont know how to pitch.

    ron tells a story where he was getting shelled. the manager or coach came out and he thought he was done. he was told that he was going to stay out there for the duration. the point was the manager knew the game was over, but for his education he was going to continue pitching until he made an adjustment.

    whatever he needed to do to throw strikes, make them miss, whatever. managers have a quick hook to bring in some loser who more often than not is just as ineffective but has less tools so you have to take him out too.

    Pelf was left in a few years ago to get bombed. he is still learning, but that is what you need to do. let them pitch and figure out how to get out of the jams of their own making.

    yeah you get tired. but you learn to do what you do after you are tired. hopefully this carries over to when you are fresh and you become better for it.

  8. yes.

    the point is that they are not taught and trained to go that long. so what happens? you are always looking for more relief help because your pen is fried and your starters are ineffective. the old pitchers do not understand why the pitchers are told to toss the ball 200 feet. they only have to throw 60 feet, but they practice far longer than that. Why? they need to show power and control for 60 feet not 200.

    so they pratice to be outfielders but cannot properly perform their function. it makes sense to me.

  9. Steve C…You don’t have to agree. You are just wrong. you are living in a different era. What team expects its starter to complete a game? Do you know in the entire NL there were only 76 complete games, and in the entire AL there were also a total of 76 complete games. The Giants led all of baseball in complete games with ELEVEN!! Fifteen teams had less than 5 complete games. So it is not expected. The game has changed, for better or worse… But to say pitchers are expected to go all the way is just pure fantasy in 2010.

  10. Then they should get paid for 5 innings. a game and not be worth 30-80 million dollars.
    Then get rid of the term starter and just have a rotation of pitchers that you cycle through every pitcher can start or be in the bull pen what a concept. oh thats right they do that in little league.

    There ya have it, harry wants little league pitchers that can go at least 7 innings.
    you know what – I rather be wrong and expect the pitcher to earn his salary.

  11. I can only hope things continue on the present trajectory for the first base job. Daniel Murphy so far is hitting .083 and Ike Davis is hitting .588. Keep it up Ike! Take the job!

  12. Harry doesn’t want little league pitchers. But harry isn’t a little baby talking about something that doesn’t exist anymore. You have no evidence to support your statement. I’m in Little League. You’re in Fantasy Island. We need you to tell us now that team’s are expected to have 4 starters, and 7-8 man benches. That must be the way it is since pitchers in 2010 are expected to pitch 9 innings. Do you enjoy watching baseball on your black and white TV?

  13. Harry, lets get something straight. I do not demean people as you take so much pleasure in doing. Secondly , it is not a fantasy to expect a starter to go more than 5 innings. Regardless of the era, every pitcher worth his salt says the same thing. So get off your fricken high horse and talk civilly. because honestly you have worn yourself very thin with me.
    You seem to enjoy getting a rise out of peope but you know what, its old and its tired. so why not start the new year by not being such a twink.