February 08, 2007

Building Around Glavine

Matthew Cerrone at Mets Blog writes about Tom Glavine and how the Mets are going to build a rotation around hin:

At his blog for ESPN.com, Buster Olney takes a look at 10 pitchers older than 30 to keep an eye on in 2007.

Number two on Olney's list is Mets P Tom Glavine. Olney writes...

This season will be much more about chasing a milestone 300th career victory for Glavine, because, quite simply, the Mets need him to pitch like an ace, like he was when he was 31.

The Mets expect that between the work of pitching coach Rick Peterson and the starting candidates they've accumulated, they will fashion a rotation behind Glavine that can be effective -- especially in light of the quality and depth of the New York bullpen and the expected strength of the offense.

But keep this in mind: The candidates behind Glavine -- Orlando Hernandez, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Mike Pelfrey, Philip Humber and Alay Soler -- combined for just 387.2 innings in the big leagues last year and racked up a 4.97 ERA and a 22-29 record. (You might throw Jorge Sosa and Jason Vargas into that mix as well, but they may not change anything).

Pelfrey and Humber may have the ability to ascend into consistent pitchers this year, and maybe Perez will bounce back. But if something went wrong with Glavine, either in performance or health, the Mets would be hard-pressed to replace what he does for this current group of starters.

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