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Rating the Season: The Pitchers

Mike SteffanosTuesday, October 4, 2005
By Mike Steffanos

We continue our year-end wrap-up by rating the Mets starting pitchers and relievers on their 2005 performance.

Pedro Martinez

I have to admit I didn't understand this signing back in November. I thought that Pedro should have gone to a team like the Yankees or Cardinals that was built to win in 2005 and that the Mets should be looking at younger pitchers. Boy, was I wrong. the buzz that he brought back to Shea, for the instant credibility he gave the Mets, I have to hand this one to Omar: a great signing.

Injuries slowed him down quite a bit after the all-star break, but with a real bullpen and a little more support we could have had a 20 game winner. He was a great mentor to the younger pitchers all season and kept the mood of the team light during some of the rough stretches.
Grade: A

Tom Glavine

He was so awful for the first 3 months of the season even Glavine himself was wondering if he was done. Every batter came up to the plate looking to drive that outside pitch, and Glavine couldn't or wouldn't come inside enough to keep them honest. It was ugly.

Fortunately for Met fans, in July aliens abducted Glavine and replaced him with a clone that was programmed to throw a curveball on occasion and an effective cutter inside. A 2.50 ERA in August and a 1.71 ERA in September were the result. Sure, now he requires human flesh to survive and will eventually overthrow all earth governments, but that's a relatively small price to pay.
Grade: B+

Kris Benson

Kris had the flip side of a year from Tom Glavine. After starting the year on the DL he came back in May and was our second best pitcher through the all-star break. But then things got a little ugly. With vague rumors of an injury being tossed around, Kris was mostly ineffective in August and September. He had trouble keeping the ball down, giving up 15 HRs in only 65.2 innings during that span.

He finished up strong with a nice game against the Rockies his last start, but for me the jury is still out on whether he can be an effective pitcher for the Mets over the full course of a 162 game season. Still, he did make progress as a pitcher this year and it is reasonable to hope that he can become more consistent.
Grade: C+

Victor Zambrano

Early in the season he was neck-and-neck with Glavine in the race to see who could pitch himself out of the league quicker. Then he turned it around at the end of May and he had a stretch of 11 games where he pitched to a 2.42 ERA and really seemed to be poised to become an effective starter. Incredibly he only went 2-5 during that stretch as the Mets failed to support him with runs and the bullpen blew leads.

Then he reverted to the evil Victor again and became the ineffective enigma some Met fans love to hate. Banished to the bullen for Steve Trachsel, he came back to finish the year by ruining Mike Piazza's farewell game. Showed enough to be in the starter mix for next year, but many fans who can't get over the Kazmir deal just want him gone.
Grade: C-

Jae Seo

We can argue from now until the cows come home as to whether or not Jae Seo would have been the effective pitcher that he proved to be without the time in Norfolk that he spent developing new pitches. What is undeniable to me is that he should have been called up a month earlier. It's water under the bridge, anyway.

When he was pitching in New York he was great, and he opened eyes. It remains to be seen if he can be that effective over the course of a full season, but he has definitely earned a fair shot next year. To me, along with Heilman and Jacobs he was part of the real feel-good stories among the players.
Grade: A

Kaz Ishii

Why in all that is sacred did we waste 16 starts on this guy? Be gone!
Grade: D-

Braden Looper

You can't mention his name in a room of Met fans without evoking strong reactions. He gets credit for pitching through pain this season and doing a decent job for the most part. It all fell apart in September along with the season.

I think he can help us next year, but not as a closer.
Grade: C

Roberto Hernandez

As much as the bullpen struggled this year, it's scary to think of where we'd have been without him. Even the low point of his season, the Milwaukee series, was Willie's fault more than Roberto's. I hope he's back next year.
Grade: A-

Aaron Heilman

Back from the dead and squarely in the middle of future pitching plans for the future, the only real question is starter or reliever. To me, he was a little wild with his fastball to be a reliable closer, but that is one of the things he is working on in winter ball.

Probably needs to develop some type of reliable breaking pitch whatever his future role with the team.
Grade: A-

Juan Padilla

He pitched great down the stretch after Looper was basically shut down. He walks too many guys for a control pitcher without overwhelming stuff, but some of that was probably related to not being used consistently until mid-September. He seems to possess the self-confidence a reliever needs. I think he's going to be a real candidate for a seventh inning role next season.
Grade: B+

Steve Trachsel

Steve pitched rather ineffectively down the stretch after taking over the fifth starter roll, pitching to a September ERA of 5.28. I think this is more reflective of missing most of the year rather than a decline in skills. You know what you get with Trachsel, who has been solid if not spectacular for the past three seasons.
Grade: C

Heath Bell

Heath looked pretty good at time this year. I'd like to know what happened in September. I think there might be something there with personal issues, but who knows. For all that, here is a young power arm that can help next year.
Grade: C-

Danny Graves

It made sense taking a chance and signing him, but I don't think many Met fans are looking forward to more of him. Unless he gets a lot of velocity back, I wish him well in his next career. Can you say "Do you want cheese on that?"
Grade: F

Mister Koo

Thanks for the Randy Johnson game. Now please go away.
Grade: D-

Royce Ring

If anyone knows why the Mets seem to have completely soured on this kid, please email me.
Grade: Incomplete

Tim Hamulack

Didn't see enough of him to decide.
Grade: Incomplete

Shingo Takatsu

Please be funky somewhere else next year.
Grade: D-



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