Neise, Harvey, Gee, and even Hefner had strong, if not brilliant, displays to start the season. After Neise's latest outing, Mets Starters have combined to pitch 31.3 innings while delivering a slash line of 1.02WHIP, 7.5K/9, and a 1.43 ERA. The bad news is that Aaron Laffey gets the start today, the bullpen has been far less impressive, and Matt Harvey is not allowed to pitch every other game.
Before going any further - I need you all to understand that this is only a somewhat serious plea to sign Carlos Zambrano. Zambrano's career slash line (3.66 ERA with 7.5 K/9) fits right in with the other guys on staff - but the dude is an absolute headcase. It is pretty much the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Meet Dr. Jekyll pitching for the Marlins last season:
Carlos Zambrano will be turing 32 this season, and is currently unsigned. He pitched in 35 games with the Marlins last year, starting in 20 of them. Miami moved him into the pen after a dismal June and July that saw his ERA spike from 2.81 (after a strong outing against the filthies on Jun 3rd) to 4.54 on July 27th. His performance as a reliever was OK at best - he gave up 8 ER over 17.1 innings - an unimpressive 4.15ERA, 1.81WHIP and 6.13K/9.
But what I think is important to understand about Zambrano is that he faded with the team. The Marlins were hyped to start the season - and in all fairness to Zambrano, he pitched well until the Miami season was all but lost. If he were willing to sign to an incentive laden deal, similar to Marcum's, I personally would welcome what he was able to acchomplish over his first 11 outings last year (2.81ERA, 1.12WHIP, 6.9K/9). What Zambrano is able to do this year through June would be an audition for the 5th man role once Zach Wheeler starts dominating the majors. If he losses the spot to Marcum or Hefner - his experience as in the bullpen might help the team. There is also no guarantee that the other starters all stay healthy. The always versatile Zambrano can even be used as a pinch hitter. So why aren't the Mets knocking on his door?
Oh, right... That Mr. Hyde thing....
Zambrano is a notoriously bad club house presence. If there is one thing I love about today's Mets, it is the way this team gels. We don't need Zambrano tainting the young guns in the bullpen. Maybe the presence of a wiser and greater Venezuelan in Johan Santana would be enough to keep Zambrano focused and calm. Probably not.
via gamereax.comclick to animate
Thanks for reading!