Right now, the Mets only have three starters that are penciled into the 2009 rotation-Santana, Pelfrey, and Maine. By all accounts, it seems as though the Mets would like to give Jonathan Niese a chance to win the final rotation spot, but even with Niese the Mets are still one starter short. So who are they looking at?
-Re-Sign Oliver Perez?
What do they all three of these pitchers have in common?
Each guy is a fly ball pitcher, which have historically been the type of pitchers that GM Omar Minaya likes to sign.
Since Minaya has come to the Mets, one of his main staples has been using fly ball pitchers.
Many of these pitchers were unsuccessful elsewhere, but thrived once they got to the Mets. Fly ball pitchers like Oliver Perez, John Maine,and Steve Trachsel are all Minaya success stories from previous seasons.
Why did fly ball pitchers thrive with the Mets? Because of Shea Stadium, which was undoubtedly a pitcher's park. With it's pitcher friendly dimensions and swirling winds, Shea Stadium was a fly ball pitcher's best friend because balls that seemed to be long gone all of a sudden stayed in the yard.
However, this season will be different for the Mets. No longer will fly ball pitchers be able to come into Shea Stadium and rely on the spacious dimensions to get them through the game.
Instead, they will be pitching at the new Citi Field. The new ball park will look very different from Shea Stadium with all it's glitz, glamor, and bricks; but the dimensions are expected to be similar to Shea Stadium. That should signal that Citi Field will be a pitcher's park like Shea right?
Maybe. No one really knows for sure until they begin to play there, which makes these signings so interesting. I'm guessing that Minaya believes that Citi will play out similarly to Shea Stadium or else he would not be going after fly ball pitchers.
However, if Citi is not like Shea, the 2009 season could be a rough one for the Mets. Let's hope not.
(Photo: Queens Gazette)