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Maine Effective in Rehab Start

By Jed Weisberger ~ June 13th, 2010. Filed under: Digest Contributors.

TRENTON, N.J. – Mets righty John Maine, who was placed on the disabled list May 21 with right shoulder fatigue, started on his road back to Jerry Manuel’s rotation yesterday in Waterfront Park.

Maine, who was pulled from his last start May 20 in Washington after facing a single batter, was 1-3, 6.13 over nine starts with the Mets.  There were indications he had the shoulder issues before he was disabled.

The 29-year-old, a native of Fredericksburg, Va., threw 63 pitches – 36 for strikes – and tossed four scoreless innings against the Thunder, who hammered Brad Holt and Clint Everts later in recording a 10-2 victory.

For Maine, it was a step forward.

“I felt good out there, except that it was so blasted hot,’’ he said after striking out five, walking two and allowing just a single hit.  “The first inning was really tough because of the heat.’’

Maine spotted his pitches fairly well, throwing his fastball in the 87-88 mph range according to several radar guns. He worked at a very slow pace in the first inning, then seemed to pick things up as he got into rhythm.

He was not satisfied with his performance as far as his off-speed offerings were concerned.

“I thought I threw my fastball pretty well, but on a couple of off-speed deliveries, I missed my spot by a foot-and-a-half.’’

Maine mentioned both his shoulder and pitching arm felt fine, but had to get used to the mound in Waterfront Park, which has a high plane.

“I saw the mound was pretty high when I got here yesterday,’’ Maine said.  “It took me a few pitches to get used to it. That’s why I walked a few guys in the beginning of the game. After a few more pitches, it was no problem.’’

Maine said he was pleased to work with catcher Omir Santos, who was optioned by the Mets to Binghamton last week.

“He’s a good catcher,’’ Maine said. “He knows me. I know him. We have worked together well in the past. It was a big help in this situation that he was behind the plate.’’

Thunder manager Tony Franklin, who saw starters D.J. Mitchell, who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in a Trenton win Saturday, and Hector Noesi, who pitched a complete-game victory yesterday, perform, thought Maine showed why he is a big-league pitcher.

The velocity needs to be stepped up, but Franklin knows Maine is quite capable.

“He (Maine) wasn’t  throwing 93 or 94 mph, but he was very efficient in getting outs, mixing it up and keeping our guys off-balance,’’ said Franklin. “It’s not all speed. It’s hitting your spots and changing speeds.

“Our guys are learning that, and it was good for them to see a pitcher like Maine and how he approached things.’’

Maine will next pitch at Triple-A Buffalo Friday. He feels he might be ready to be return to the Mets rotation after that.

“I think after the Buffalo start I’ll be ready to be activated,’’ he said.

There are indications the Mets may ask Maine to make another pair of rehab starts.  Velocity and command do need some tweaking before he faces National League hitters again.  The Thunder have a bunch of excellent Double-A hitters, but Triple-A batsmen will offer a bit more of a challenge.

Overall, for not having pitched since May 20, Maine took a solid step toward where he wants to be.

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Jed spent 35 years in the newspaper business working as both a writer and editor, in both sports and news under tight deadline pressure. As both sports editor at the Indiana (Pa.) Gazette and a copy editor/columnist at The Times of Trenton, he made daily decisions on overall coverage and designed and produced thousands of pages and special sections. Since accepting a buyout from The Times, he has concentrated on broadening his writing and editing horizons to the medical, academic and business fields. Anyone is welcome to Google Jed to see the different places in print, on the Web and in front of the camera his professional expertise has spread to.

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1 Response to Maine Effective in Rehab Start

  1. RonOK

    Maine alledged he was fine the night he was pulled by Manuel too.

    If Maine is going to be an 87-88 MPH pitcher, he should just go into broadcasting or some other field right now …. he was a bullpen killer at 94 MPH …. it will be torture to watch him as a junk ball pitcher.

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