Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The New York Mets are in the pitching free agent mix. They are rumored to be interested in at least two pitchers with one being the favorite. Take a gander at the simple stats and seem whom you would prefer but take a guess at whom the Mets actually prefer.
Pitcher #1 is Joel Piniero, the Mets preferred target. Piniero is 31. He started off his career strong but faded terribly in his mid and upper 20s only to be salvaged by Dave Duncan. Can we think of other Dave Duncan reclamation projects? Of course we can, Jeff "Dream"Weaver who morphed back into a lump of garbage after he left St. Louis.
Pitcher #2 is the oft injured Ben Sheets. Sheets is also 31 and hasn't had a season with an ERA over 4 in 5 seasons. Piniero had a season over 5 in 2008. Yes, Sheets had a severe injury but according he did sit out an entire season and not rush back through rehab. The upside of Sheets is a staff ace.
Sheets may be the riskier option of the two but at some point don't you think an injury risk is better than the risk that a pitcher is just going to morph back into a bad starter? Piniero doesn't have a consistent track record of success. He's coming off the best season of his career. Meanwhile Ben Sheets could get injured. Or he could just morph into the #2 you desperately need.
To me this is a no brainer. Gamble with the better pitcher. Then again, this is the Mets we're talking about. They'll likely make the wrong decision and sign Pineiro. He'll probably pitch like garbage and then get injured.