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Adding Beato to the Starting Pitching Mix

By Mike Silva ~ March 4th, 2012. Filed under: New York Mets.

I recently talked about the Mets lack of depth in starting pitching. Unable to sign a low risk/high reward veterans due to finances, there is a collection of 4-A talent competing for spots in the rotation. Players such as Jeremy Hefner, Chuck James, Miguel Batista and Garrett Olson have a legitimate chance at the opening day roster. Right now, Jonathon Niese, R.A. Dickey, Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee are the only established and healthy (note that second word if you wonder why Johan Santana wasn’t mentioned) arms in camp. That’s why many think Miguel Batista, despite being 41-years old and a non-roster invitee has a great chance at making the club.

Of course, there are the young arms. Both Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia have impressed in their early spring work. Jenrry Mejia is projected to be active by May, so a mid-season promotion is not out of the question. Zack Wheeler isn’t in the equation now, but a pitcher with his talent and ceiling has the potential to quickly move through the system. Collin McHugh is a sleeper who is rarely mentioned.

It would be unfair to rely on kids. That’s why I like to look at realistic scenarios, and the veterans in camp probably have a better shot of pitching at Citi Field than some of the kids. The front office understands they can’t sacrifice the development of their young pitching foundation just to win a few extra games and finish fourth instead of last.

One name that I mentioned as pitching depth, and who has been discussed by both Terry Collins and Dan Warthen this week, is Pedro Beato.

I half-heartedly threw Beato’s name into the mix in my initial analysis because he certainly had his moments out of the bullpen last season, but failed as a starter with Baltimore. In 83 MILB starts he posted a 4.50 ERA. The Orioles haven’t exactly been known to be a hotbed for developing pitchers, so it probably wouldn’t hurt to give him one last try.

Terry Collins said during a recent conference call the team would revisit Beato to the rotation if he didn’t make the ball club as a reliever this spring.  ”This guy’s got four plus-major league pitches. That tells me that he could possibly be a starting pitcher,” Collins said.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen told Mike Puma of the NY Post that Beato’s role for the next couple of years is probably going to be a multiple-inning reliever since he can pitch 2-3 times a week.  Warthen admitted Beato does have the pitches to start, but he didn’t think he has the stamina to be a 100-pitch guy.

I guess I am dubious about whether I trust the analysis of a pitching coach that also said similar things about Jenrry Mejia. The same pitching coach that was a member of the decision making that saw Mejia misused and Pedro Feliciano run into the ground. I also don’t understand why it wouldn’t hurt to give him four months in Buffalo to see if the stamina issue can’t be worked out. What’s the worst that can happen? He fails and returns to the bullpen? I say give it a try unless they believe failure as a starter will do harm to his confidence and hamper his ability to be successful long-term.

The one question is what does Beato think? Collins did say that he “loves the bullpen, loves pitching in relief.” Beato even told him last season his ultimate goal is to be a closer. I think everyone would agree that opportunity will still be there even if he spent the entire season as a starting pitcher.

The Mets have enough relievers this season. It’s unlikely they are going to compete for a championship. Development should be their #1 priority, and I believe seeing if Pedro Beato can start one last time is part of that.

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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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1 Response to Adding Beato to the Starting Pitching Mix

  1. Beebop

    Guys who can’t start get a shot at the BP and sometimes succeed. Guys who can’t relieve seldom get a shot at starting and almost never succeed as starters.

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