Is Chris Schwinden a long-term solution for the rotation?

Chris Schwinden made his 2012 MLB debut this past Friday.  With Mike Pelfrey being shelved for the year… it’s likely not to be Schwinden’s last start with the big ballclub.  The question that Met fans are puzzling is, “Can our team win with this guy on the mound?”

The answer is difficult to find.  Schwinden was a 22nd round draft pick in 2008, so it isn’t as if the Mets haven’t already gotten more out of him than fans should expect out of a player drafted from that slot.  He profiles similarly to Dillon Gee, but while I’ve seen reports that his fastball had 1-2 MPH more than Gee’s it looked a little slower in Colorado.  In 4 innings he gave up 7 hits 5 earned runs and didn’t strike out a single batter.

Looking at the start: Schwinden was sitting at 90 and topping out at 91 in the game.  His breaking pitches are thrown for strikes but they also don’t have a lot of difference (in speed) from his fastball.  Against righties he seemed to look for his outs with breaking pitches on the outside corner.  When he faced lefties he seemed to have less of a plan throwing the ball over the heart of the plate.

None of this sounds particularly good.  So… do the Mets need to come up with a plan B in a hurry?  I think that on average that Schwinden is good enough to keep a major league team close through six innings.  He’s going to get hit and he’s going to give up runs, but unless there is a big pitcher to be had, he’s not worse than the mediocre pieces that the Mets could easily acquire.

Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia: Don’t start screaming for the future starters to be called up just yet.  Neither Harvey nor Familia look all that ready in AAA to be much of a help in the majors just yet.  The Mets need to use players like Schwinden as the bridge to these top prospects, but they can’t rush the prospects across the bridge before their time.

5 comments for “Is Chris Schwinden a long-term solution for the rotation?

  1. Brian Joura
    April 29, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Most teams (2011 Mets aside) are going to have roughly 25 starts each year made by pitchers outside of their top five hurlers. Schwinden is a respectable guy to make some of those 25 starts. As long as that is his role, the Mets are okay. You can live with him making 5-8 starts but he’ll hurt you if it’s 15 or more. The Mets have to hope for a Chris Young revival or they’re going to have to acquire a SP to make up for Pelfrey’s absence.

    • David Groveman
      April 30, 2012 at 10:16 am

      Chris Young revival would be pretty nice about now.

  2. jerseymet
    April 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    @David: Good take on Schwinden. His future may be as a middle or long releaver. Is he any worse that Acosta or Batista? I look for Hefner to be reactivated soon.

    • David Groveman
      April 30, 2012 at 10:16 am

      Maybe I’m nuts, but I still like Acosta and I think Acosta’s better “stuff” makes him a better relief candidate.

  3. Metsense
    April 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    In 2011 the average NL starter had a 3.95 ERA. The average bottom of the order starter was around 4.50. Both Gee and Schwinden need to be somewhere between those two numbers. At the end of May, Young should be ready and fill that spot until he breaks down. So I guess the answer is, “no” only about a month solution unless he significantly out pitches Gee.

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