March 18.10: What’s Jerry’s thinking about the fifth starter?

With most managers, at least those with security, their objectives are a balance between winning today and building for the future. That can’t be said for the Mets’ Jerry Manuel, who has joked about the importance of a fast start for the preservation of his job.

There’s truth in humor.

Manuel presided over the late season collapse of 2008 and full season free fall of 2009, and knows the Mets must contend, if not get to the playoffs and win a round, if he’s to return next year. Manuel’s job is on the line, and with it there’s a sense of urgency of being competitive immediately.

Given that, it stands to reason Manuel’s decisions, like that of choosing his fifth starter, will be to give him the best chance of winning now as opposing for building for the future, because quite simply, he has no guarantee of a future.

Manuel’s comments the other day that he’d like to see Hisanori Takahashi start a game this spring suggests strongly he’s being seriously considered for the fifth starter role. Takahashi has been superb in six scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out nine.

“What we have seen so far is he really has the ability to pitch and pitch with all his pitches,” Manuel said. “He probably is our sharpest pitcher right now, as far as everything hitting where he wants it to hit.”

If not Takahashi, then perhaps Fernando Nieve. Nelson Figueroa will be sent out to clear waivers, and Jon Niese, who went into spring training the favorite, will be sent out because he has options remaining.

Niese might be the fifth starter down the road, but Manuel doesn’t have the luxury of letting him learn on the job. As long as Takahashi is getting batters out, the Mets have a chance to win, and that means Manuel has a better chance to stick around.

12 thoughts on “March 18.10: What’s Jerry’s thinking about the fifth starter?

  1. Unless the manager is the GM, there aren’t any managers who are thinking, or at least should be thinking, about the future. That’s what GMs are for. Tell me the manager who saved his job by saying, “Well guys, we could have won the pennant but I was thinking about next year?”

  2. Yes. I believe this guy is willing to permanantly destroy players’ careers to save his job.

    that is why he should be fired today.

  3. Harry: No manager that I can think of actually said that, except for maybe Connie Mack years ago. … But, there are some managers with security who can make decisions with the future in mind. Tony La Russa for one, and Joe Torre when he was with the Yankees.-JD

  4. You know..ahh..JD…uhhh..I don’t really care..uhhh..what Omar thinks..ahh..the sit-u-a-tion is this uhhh…IFF I don’t uhh…win..uhhh…i’m out on my butt..Ah heh heh heh…so uhhh..i’m going to go with who-ev-er I think the best uhh…option for me to uh…keep my job uhhh. Even iff that means uhh..I need to convert Ike Davis to relief, just like his daddy used to be. AH HEH HEH HEH…

    I’m here all week folks..don’t forget to tip your waiters and waitresses. :-)

  5. Niese is better than Takahashi and Nieve, RIGHT NOW. Does Jerry understand the concept of a small sample size? So Takahashi has pitched 6 scoreless innings? So what? 6 innings? Are you kidding me?

  6. Delcos, If you want your manager to think like LaRussa then I suggest you tell the moron son not to go on the team’s radio station and announce that his job is on the line. What the heck do you want him to do under the hideous circumstances under which he is employed? Anyway, its still the GMs job to make the final personnel decisions. All Jeffy has to do is to tell Omar to send the guys you are worried about to the minors and Jerry can’t do anything about it. But since GM jeffy thinks Jerry is the GM then Jerry can do whatever he wants. And since Jerry was told that his job is on the line, why should he give a damn about 2011 or 2012. So Wally Back,man or Timmy Teufel can get credit for getting lucky?

  7. Oh by the way heh heh heh…did I ha ppen to mention that I uhh…think…uhh..that Fernando Martinez can not catch a fly ball…ahhh heh heh heh.

  8. By the way, he did pretty much say that about F-Mart:

    ““That would be difficult, in all honesty,” Manuel told reporters, when asked if Martinez could get the starting job in center field. “The center field part is very important to us right now. We came in here with the mantra that we’re going to catch the baseball, play good defense, that type of thing, so we’ll see how that turns out. But right now, we have Gary and Angel slated for that spot.”

    Way to let the world know that he thinks F-Mart can’t handle CF. Horses ass

  9. I like the “center field part”…best. Think he just found out about the center field part … whatever that means?