If the Mets had a perfect world, Aaron Laffey wouldn’t start for them until June or July. That his start comes in the season’s fifth game tells you how tissue thin their rotation is.
Game six, and already the Mets are into two pitchers that weren’t in their immediate plans as Johan Santana is gone for good and Shaun Marcum is out indefinitely. Question: Who will we see first, Marcum or Zack Wheeler?
Laffey, who won four games in 16 starts for Toronto last year, was signed to a minor league free agent contract after Christmas as anticipated depth because of health concerns over Santana, Jenrry Mejia and Dillon Gee.
He’s starting against Miami today in place of Marcum, who is out indefinitely with neck inflammation. To make room on the roster the Mets optioned reliever Jeurys Familia to Triple-A Las Vegas.
The choice of Familia indicates the Mets are either pleased or intrigued with what they’ve seen from 14-year minor league veteran Scott Rice.
Here’s today’s Mets’ lineup against Marlins starter Jose Fernandez:
Collin Cowgill, CF: Back after not starting the last two games. Came off the bench Saturday to hit his second homer. Entered the season with only two career homers. He’s best offensive option in center.
Daniel Murphy, 2B: Drove in game-winning run Saturday with triple. Hit three-run homer Friday. Is 3-4 with RISP. How many homers could he hit if he swung for power?
David Wright, 3B: Has played in club-record 60 straight games without an error. No homers, but had three hits Saturday.
Ike Davis, 1B: Snapped 1-for-16 slide with two hits Saturday. Has seven strikeouts and only three hits; not a good ratio. Batting .158.
Mike Baxter, RF: Starting again in right after reaching base three times Saturday. Led off 12 times last year and the Mets were 7-5 in those games. So, why not put him there today?
Lucas Duda, LF: Who would have thought he’d have more walks than strikeouts? One of the most encouraging statistics so far. Hasn’t played poorly in left field.
Ruben Tejada, SS: If anybody could use a head-clearing day off it is he. Hitting .176 with four errors in five games.
Aaron Laffey, LHP: Went 4-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 22 appearances (16 starts) for Toronto last year. Has also played for Cleveland, Seattle and the Yankees.