Meet The fifth starter for the Mets - Livan Hernandez.
Livan has beaten out Jon Neise, Freddy Garcia, and Tim Redding for the 5th spot in the Mets rotation. Welcome to the fold, sir.
Jon Niese will stand by in AAA, and Freddie Garcia has agreed to stay with the organization and build up his arm strength in either AAA or extended Spring Training.
Livan makes a great amount of sense for the Mets fifth start job. We should be very optimistic for this. Part of the Mets trouble the last several years for the Mets has been the over-reliance on the bullpen. The Mets starters rarely seemed to be able to give teh bullpen a break, and even though the 'pen should be vastly improved this year, the Mets don't want to burn them out. Livan Hernandez threw over 199 innings every year from 1998 to 2007, and pitched 180 innings last year. His best days are behind him, and he doesn't strike many batters out anymore, but if he stays healthy, goes out and pitches six innings every fifth day, the Mets should be able to have enough offense to win many of his starts.
The question is, does this make Pedro Martinez officially a transplanted ex-Met? Maybe, but maybe not. WFAN and the tabloids are all freaking out about Oliver Perez's dismal performance this spring, especially after Danny Wharthen and Jerry Manuel expressd concern that Ollie may not have been working all that hard while pitching for Mexico in the WBC. He's apparently about 15 lbs overweight and needs a good kick in the rear. Add John Maine's less than stellar spring and suddenly the Mets rotation isn't so rock solid. Mike Pelfrey looked good on the mound until yesterday, but he's hobbling around the clubhouse. Should the Mets give in to Pedro's demands and get some insurance for the rotation?
Let me hear your thoughts.