Obviously, the most pressing and important issue surrounding the Mets this season is their rotation beyond Johan Santana, and the first test goes to John Maine, tonight’s starter against the Florida Marlins.
Maine (7-6, 4.43 ERA last season) missed most of last season with a sore right shoulder coming off surgery.
Maine is 3-1 with a 1.05 ERA in four starts against the Marlins in New York, and 5-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 10 career starts.
Maine did not have a good spring with a 7.88 ERA, and manager Jerry Manuel said during his pre-game he’s inclined to have a short leash with him.
After the opener, Manuel said he’d stay with the hot hand.
Line-up vs. Ricky Nolasco (13-9, 5.06 last year):
Alex Cora, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Mike Jacobs, 1B
Jason Bay, LF
Gary Matthews, CF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Rod Barajas, C
John Maine, RP
NOTEBOOK: Manuel said Oliver Perez is able to work out of the pen tonight. … As long as Gary Matthews stays hot, he’ll be playing ahead of Angel Pagan. … Manuel said he’d like to use Jenrry Mejia during this home stand.