Wednesday, January 03, 2007

How about Ohka?

So, this is what it's come to, huh? We dreamed of Dontrelle Willis, came within an eyelash of Roy Oswalt, flirted with Barry Zito, but now the top remaining free agent pitcher available to us is one Tomokazu Ohka. Oh boy. Mets fans have a right to be less than excited about the prospects of signing this guy, as he has a lifetime 3-7 record with a 4.10 ERA in 13 career starts against the Mets. He went 4-5 with a 4.82 ERA in 18 starts in 2006, missing two-and-a-half months with a partial tear in his right rotator cuff, following a season in which he was run out of D.C. after showing up Frank Robinson. For his MLB career, the Japanese righthander is 48-58 with a 4.04 ERA.

Most people will say the Mets desperately need an ace, but what they really need next season is quality innings from their starters. The Mets got just five complete games last season, with one from Steve Trachsel and one from Alay Soler. None of the starters logged 200 innings, and bringing in Ohka wouldn't solve that issue. He's never pitched 200 innings in his career, and he's coming off surgery. On the other hand, he'd essentially be replacing Steve Trachsel, who only logged 201 innings over the past two seasons, while Ohka pitched 277 over the same time period. And while Ohka got in trouble for not wanting to get taken out of a game, Trachsel's reputation was marred for the opposite reason.

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