Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Three Man Race for the 5 Spot

As pitchers and catchers are due to report to Port St Lucie on Friday, the first four spots in the rotation are set barring any injury. The front four led by Johan Santana is unchanged from last year, as the Mets are bringing back Oliver Perez, John Maine, and Mike Pelfrey. The only question is who will close out the rotation.

It’s a three man race for the five spot with Tim Redding and Freddy Garcia more likely then prospect Jonathan Niese. Redding is the only of the three guaranteed major league money so he will be on the roster come opening day, either as the five, or the long man in the pen. Niese on the other hand will have to show the most to earn the spot as he still has rookie status, and the Mets won’t want to accelerate through his option years.

Garcia has the most experience, and if healthy (he is coming off elbow surgery) will most likely win the starting job, however if he isn’t able to perform look for Manuel to plug him in at Buffalo, or be cut.

In the case that Garcia doesn’t make the major league roster the long man position will be wide open, and probably go to someone like Nelson Figueroa or Brian Stokes.

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