February 16, 2007

Maine Still Has To Earn Role

Marty Noble at Mets.com, writes about John Maine and how he still has to earn the number 3 starter's job:

None of the assigned parking spaces has his No. 33. But his newly-located locker is there on Pitchers' Row. As John Maine sat on the stool Thursday, Tom Glavine's locker was to his right and the locker of Oliver Perez was to his left. The lockers of El Duque and Pedro Martinez were nearby.

So Maine knows where he parks -- "Some place out there" -- and where he sits. Where he stands, with the first official workout of the Mets' Spring Training still two days away, isn't quite so clear to him.

General manager Omar Minaya last week acknowledged that, because of their performances during the postseason last year, Maine and Oliver Perez have "a leg up" on the other candidates intent on filling the vacancies in the rotation. Maine isn't sure what that means. And manager Willie Randolph has yet to identify anyone as the man who follows Glavine and El Duque in the sequence of starters.

"There's no need to make anybody No. 3 right now," Minaya said last week. "Let's let them compete and see how it plays out.
"John Maine is a quality arm who is going to help us win this year. That's enough for now."

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