May 15, 2007

Top Eight Replacements

At Mets Today, they write about the top eight pitcher, who could take Mike Pelfrey's spot in the rotation:

1. Jason Vargas

Vargas was pulled from his Sunday start for the Zephyrs, and Willie Randolph mentioned the little lefty as an option, so it’s assumed he’s Thursday’s starter. It makes sense, considering his previous MLB experience and impressive spring training (2.57 ERA). Though small in stature, Vargas is big in heart, a bulldog of a competitor who may be considered an overachiever. His 5.30 ERA is a bit bloated by the hitter-friendly PCL, but not by much.
2. Philip Humber

Humber may have the biggest upside of the Mets’ pitching prospects, but his spring training jitters were telling in regard to his maturity and confidence. He’s not exactly overwhelming in AAA, but he is pitching in the PCL — notorious as a “hitter’s league”. With the Zephyrs, Humber is 3-4 with a 4.30 ERA, but has pitched only 44 innings in 8 games — barely more than five innings per start. Though he was named the PCL Pitcher of the Week in late April, his performance overall has been less than extraordinary. As he’s still recovering from Tommy John surgery, and trying to build confidence, it’s unlikely the Mets will push him. If he continues to progress, we MIGHT see him in August or September.

3. Aaron Sele

We keep forgetting that Sele was strictly a starter for most of his 15-year career, and made 15 starts for the Dodgers last year. Without Jose Lima and Jeremi Gonzalez on the roster, his appearances have been few and far between — and the Ollie Perez meltdowns may be a thing of the past. He’s pitched admirably in his 9 appearances, showing a sharp 12-6 curve and well-placed fastball. While we’ll likely see Jason Vargas promoted, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be Thursday’s starter. Vargas could be sliding into Sele’s long relief role, affording Aaron the opportunity to start.


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