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Mets Staff With Takahashi in Rotation

By Mike Silva ~ March 15th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Yankees.

Hisanori Takahashi has opened some eyes with his spring performance. As mentioned before, he has thrown six shutout innings while striking out nine in the Grapefruit League. Many, including me, have him penciled in as the long man in the bullpen. It’s the same type of role that Darren Oliver performed so well in back in 2006. This would allow the team to navigate ballgames with a rotation short on length. On last nights show, Howard Megdal of SNY threw out another idea: how about Takahashi as the fifth starter?

When talking about the Mets fifth spot it normally is a discussion about Jonathan Niese or Fernando Nieve. Even Nelson Figueroa, possibly the best one of all, is forgotten. So why would it make sense to throw Takahashi into that conversation? Well, Howard’s first point was the second lefty out of the bullpen. Takahashi is not a situational lefty as his splits in NPB baseball indicate he is better against RHP. The fact remains the Mets are going to need to get out a tough lefty more than once in a ballgame, especially if the opposition is Philadelphia. Putting Takahashi in the bullpen eliminates the ability to sign a second lefty, like Joe Beimel, to a contract. “Perpetual Pedro” Feliciano might benefit from some help every once in a while.

Howard also pointed out that Nelson Figueroa might be a great long man out of the bullpen. I always saw Fernando Nieve as an option for that role, but he might be best suited for a short stint where he could maximize his velocity. Perhaps with Takahashi in the rotation you could keep both Figueroa and Nieve who do not have options.

What about Jonathan Niese? Personally, I haven’t been impressed with the kid so far this spring. I think he could use some time in AAA to recover from the hamstring injury (he was still hurting as late as January) and work on some of the positive results he produced late in 2009. He could also be brought up if Takahashi flops. I see no need to rush Niese to the big leagues.

It’s an interesting idea by Howard, but thus far the Mets haven’t discussed Takahashi in the rotation. Even so, his three inning stints make it possible he could be stretched out for such a role as we move to the back half of the Grapefruit League. We know that Jerry Manuel likes him, but what role would he be suited best? The rotation may not be the worst place.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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2 Responses to Mets Staff With Takahashi in Rotation

  1. RonOK

    I am 100% in agreement on this — Niese to AAA and Figgy and Nieve to the BP with Hisanori Takahashi as the #5 starter.

    Gives Niese more time in AAA and insuranc if [when?] one of Pelfrey – Perez – Maine – Takahashi fails.

    This would probably also mean the Sean Green is toast which is another thing I would welcome ….

  2. Stu Baron

    I was thinking the same thing as I watched him mow down Tigers Saturday…

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