The Mets have a lot of problems right now, the least of which is probably the performance of their fifth starter. However, has anyone else noticed that Nelson Figueroa has been -- not to get too technical here -- pretty effing crummy of late? He was the Princess of Flushing after his first two starts against the Brewers and Nationals, but he has been mostly dreadful over his last four starts.
A little arithmetic gives us 20.1 innings pitched over those last four starts, including 17 runs allowed, 18 walks, 27 hits and three Mets losses. That's more than two baserunners every inning and an RA of more than 7.5. I realize that Figgy got off to a good start, and I don't enjoy ragging on him because he's a good guy and a fun story. Nevertheless, you've got a tough row to hoe if you're going to argue that he is really giving the Mets a good chance to win every time out. Or any time out, for that matter.
Pedro Martinez is throwing in Port St. Lucie, but there is no immediate timetable for his return and I think many would be surprised if he returned before June. Tony Armas is pitching pretty well in New Orleans. Despite a 1-3 record, he has a 3.02 ERA and a solid 36-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 47.2 innings.
The Mets are said to be considering calling up Adam Bostick to pitch on Wednesday, though he hasn't been anything special in seven starts this season. His 3.83 ERA is acctually second on the team to Armas, though the 26 strikeouts and 16 walks in 40 innings is hardly the stuff of legend. Claudio Vargas has made two starts since being called up to Triple-A and, though his 4.91 ERA is uninspiring, his 11-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 11 innings is a good start.
Freddy Garcia is out there, but he won't be ready until July at the earliest.
Mr. Met: Damion Easley, +13.6%
Mr. Regret: Nelson Figueroa, -41.9%
(Non-)Clutchiest Plate Appearance: Easley homerun off Perez, +10.6%
(Non-)Clutchiest Pitch: Flores 2-run double off Figueroa, -24.5%
WPA by Offense: +3.5%
WPA by Pitchers: -53.5%
WPA by Opponent: +0.0%
- If there was ever any doubt before, it should be clear as Crystal Gravy that Jorge Sosa needs to hit the road. The Mets will have to eat $1.5 million or so, but to keep him on the roster at the expense of Joe Smith is quite simply bad baseball. Matt Wise is ready to come off the disabled list and the Mets need to make a decision; let's hope they make the right one.
- Smith's presence in the bullpen is even more critical in light of Duaner Sanchez's recent poor outings and Aaron Heilman's ongoing struggles.
- Billy Wagner struck out the side in a meaningless ninth inning. When you look at closers around the league crumbling before our very eyes you really start to recognize what a terrific signing Wagner turned out to be. Four years and $40+ million for a 34-year-old closer seemed like a lot of money at the time, but he really is one of the few dominant, dependable closers in baseball.