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Mets’ Santana May Not Be Ready for Opening Day: Fan Reaction
Are you the least bit surprised? Not if you're a Mets fan.
"We do have some question marks, of course, with Santana being one of them," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told the New York Post on Tuesday, December 13. "We think he's going to be ready, but he might not be. That's where the [pitching] depth becomes important."
What pitching depth would that be, exactly?
Last season, outside of soft-tossing R.A. Dickey, the Mets did not have a starting pitcher with an earned run average below 4.40; Dickey's ERA was 3.28. Furthermore, Mets' starting pitchers had a combined record of 53-58. Take away Chris Capuano (11-12, 4.55 ERA), who signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Mets starting staff for next season looks shaky at best. The Mets may want to reconsider trading lefty Jon Niese, as reports last week suggested they were trying to do, huh?
New York bolstered its bullpen last week at the Winter Meetings with the additions of relievers Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez in three separate transactions. However, with team's starting pitchers having turned in quality starts (at least six innings pitched and allowing three or fewer runs) in only 52 percent of their outings, there may not be many leads to protect next year.
If you're waiting for the Mets to add another quality pitcher this offseason, you can forget it. They haven't been in the mix on any big-name free agent pitchers, such as C.J. Wilson or Mark Buehrle, who signed with the Los Angeles Angels and Miami Marlins, respectively. Again, why am I not surprised?
Not only are the financially-challenged Mets not going to spend big money, it appears that they are not willing to spend any money on starting pitching, not even on mid-level free agents such Joel Pineiro or Paul Maholm, who are starting to look enticing right about now. The biggest addition the Mets are going to make is a healthy Santana, who appeared on track for opening day at the end of last season.
Even if he's not the pitcher he used to be, Santana is an upgrade over anyone on the Mets' current staff. A two-time Cy Young Award winner, the lefty has won at least 11 games in each of his last eight seasons. The longer Santana is out of action, the longer next season will be for the Mets.
Adam Martini is a freelance sportswriter who grew up in Queens, N.Y. with a view of Shea Stadium from his bedroom window. He spent many nights in the upper deck at Shea rooting for the Mets.
Dan Martin, "Mets' Santana may not be ready for Opening Day," NYPost.com.
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