March 25.10: Niese fifth starter favorite.

It is by no means a given, but Jon Niese has emerged as the frontrunner to be the team’s fifth starter. Jerry Manuel said yesterday Niese has the inside track over Fernando Nieve, Nelson Figueroa and Hisanori Takahashi.

At one point this spring, I thought Takahashi was the favorite, but moved off that because he didn’t have enough innings to be sufficiently stretched out. The path of least resistance would have been to option Niese because he has options remaining, but he has pitched well enough to warrant a chance and there are other variables.

Most specifically, the sad state of the Mets’ bullpen. Niese couldn’t help out in the pen, but both Nieve as a long man and Takahashi as a left-hander fill two roles. Odd man out, as expected, is Figueroa.

Figueroa will pass through waivers then re-sign with the Mets and be pitching around June. Personally, I hope somebody claims him and he gets a chance to pitch.

12 thoughts on “March 25.10: Niese fifth starter favorite.

  1. Part of me agrees with you about Figgy, but selfishly speaking I hope we get to keep him as we will need that depth this year without a doubt.

  2. I have read elsewhere that Figgy is talking about going overseas. Bye Bye. Why so much concern about a career minor leaguer is just amazin’ amzin’ amazin’.
    As for all the fans gleeful about Davis getting more minor league time, tell me how come the Bravos give a 20 year old a starting job? Mid first round pick… younger than Davis….

  3. what did jerry say? he will change his mind and throw you under the bus any second? so niese is his flavor of the day. until he gets a cup of coffee and announces that niese cant outpitch a peewee team.

    as for ike. my only problem is that some say he cannot hit lefties. also he had one good year. i say let him stay down and do his thing.

    he will be up later. maybe sooner than later.

  4. Harry: If Ike was the Number 1 prospect in all of MLB he probably would be here too!!! But we’ll see if the Braves are doing him a service by putting him in the bigs at his age.

  5. I can’t bury Maine because it’s still Spring Training and all, but I would have liked to see a better performance by now. But I will stay positive.

  6. Is the Met bullpen really in a sad state? KRod had an inconsistent year, but still ranks among the elite closers in the game. Feliciano has grown from a LOOGY into a legitimate set-up man. Parnell’s ERA as a reliever was 3.46, which is about 24 percent above league-average. And then you have Kiko Calero, who’s been an above-average reliever for most of his career and is coming off a 1.95 ERA in 2009. That’s not a bad front four at all, especially if they don’t get beat to hell from overuse.

    And the candidates for the other three positions — guys like Misch, Nieve, Takahashi, Dessens and Mejia — have pitched well enough to make someone like Sean Green look very expendable. And we haven’t even touched upon their projected eighth-inning guy, Kelvim Escobar, who, if healthy, could be a high-reward performer.

    To be sure, the underperforming pitchers on the Mets staff tend to be in the starting rotation, not in the pen.

  7. Tiffany’s post is exhibit A for why we should have improved our rotation for the past few years.

    We got Johan which is good, but sat on our hands for everything else. Unless you count the stupid contract given to Omar fav Ollie.

    The only saving grace is some of the minor talent is starting to bubble up. The question is will any of them be better than a 4/5?

    We have Jenrry of course but Sybill wants to put him in the pen when he should be in AA learning to pitch.

  8. Tiffany: Green would be a guy who would look expendable if you, me Delcos and O were vying for rleeiver spots.