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Mets note: Colon, Francis, Chavez

 

Joel Sherman mentioned Jeff Francis and Bartolo Colon as low cost options for the Mets rotation. Colon intrigues me because of how well he pitched for the Yankees and in the American League East.

He became the forgotten man at the end of the season because of his August and September struggles, but for a large chunk of the season he was the Yanks #2 behind CC Sabathia.

I think a National League lineup and pitcher friendly ballpark in Citi Field would be a perfect fit for Colon. You would have to monitor his innings, as I think Joe Girardi pushed him a bit too hard in the first half. He averaged about 7 innings per start before the All Star Break, and around 5 after. Part of that was due to effectiveness, but I think limiting Colon to 5-6 innings on most nights will keep him fresh for an entire season.

The biggest concern is his body. Could he play in the National League where he will be expected to run the bases and bunt? You saw how seriously pitchers can get hurt when Chien-Ming Wang tore up his foot running the bases in Houston in 2008.

Obviously, health is the biggest question mark here. Remember, it was revolutionary stem cell surgery that helped speed up the recovery on his elbow and shoulder so there is little precedent on how that holds up long-term.

***

Let’s not forget Jeff Francis, who was on the Mets radar last year. He lost 16 games for Kansas City with a 4.82 ERA. He is a ground-ball pitcher that historically has pitched to contact. All his career peripheral numbers were in line, but the results were far worse than what we saw in Colorado. To be fair, this was his first year back from shoulder surgery, so that obviously played a part in it.

Both Francis and Colon are risks, it just depends who you think could hold up for a full season with the maximum effectiveness. Right now, I think it’s a flip of the coin.

Maybe there is a way to bring both into camp. Colon could always pitch long-relief out of the bullpen.

***

Finally, I do like the idea of bringing back Endy Chavez as a fourth outfielder/spot starter if Angel Pagan remains with the team.

Chavez is not a full-time starter, but he will give you a solid 250 at-bats in a backup role. He can pick it in the outfield, is popular with the fans, and a good guy to have in the clubhouse.

I never understood why he fell into the abyss when Jerry Manuel took over

By Mike Silva
Tuesday, 15 Nov 2011

 

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