Tuesday night the Mets scored more runs (9) than they had in their previous five games (8). They pounded out 14 hits, including multi-hit games from five of their first six hitters in the lineup. They had two homers and came back from 4-1 and 5-4 deficits. They also received 5.2 scoreless innings from their bullpen. They beat the hated Phillies, bringing their record against Philadelphia to 9-4 for the season.
This seemed like a game from the first half of the season, not one of the depressing outings that have been far too frequent here in the second half. I feel like a heel for not being more optimistic during a three-game winning streak but the biggest take away for me from last night’s game is that Chris Young should not throw another pitch for the Mets.
Young allowed 5 ER in 4.1 IP last night. In his last 10 games he has a 5.37 ERA, having allowed 33 ER in his last 55.1 IP. He now has a 4.64 ERA for the season and his xFIP checks in at 5.55, the worst mark in baseball among pitchers who have thrown at least 70 innings.
Fortunately for Young, the Mets battled back to get him a no-decision in yesterday’s game. Otherwise his awful performance would have been the story of the night. If you were trying to explain baseball to someone and wanted an example of what *not* to do with a pitch, Young’s 87 mph fastball, belt high in the middle of the plate to Chase Utley would make a perfect instructional gif.
When the Mets needed a boost in June, Young came up big, as he posted a 3.30 ERA in five starts that month. We should acknowledge the role he played in the Mets’ strong play the first half of the season. But it’s the second half of the year now, Young has been terrible, he’s unlikely to be back in 2013 and with rosters expanding, the Mets should replace him in the rotation with someone who can contribute next year.
For September, the Mets have Dickey, Niese, Harvey, Hefner and McHugh. If they want to stick with a six-man rotation for Niese’s sake, they can promote Jenrry Mejia, show him they are serious about him being a starter and let him get some starts under his belt in the majors. Despite getting knocked around in his last outing, Mejia has a 1.94 ERA in nine games as a starter this year in the minors.
It made sense for the Mets to re-sign Young last year for rotational depth. But it is unlikely that same urgency will be around next year. In addition to the six pitchers mentioned above, the Mets will also have Gee and Santana and no one will be surprised if Zack Wheeler gets a mid-year promotion in 2013 like Harvey did this year. That’s enough depth.
Besides, it made sense for Young to re-sign with the Mets this season because he was recovering from injury and this way he was able to stay with the doctors and program under which he started his rehab. This year Young has been healthy and he figures to want an MLB slot right from Opening Day.
It all adds up to Young being elsewhere in 2013. A starter throughout his career, it makes little sense to stick him in the pen the final month of the season, especially coming off his shoulder woes.
The Mets should fabricate an injury for Young and let him go home. He gave the team 85.1 IP this year, the most he has pitched since 2008. It was a mutually beneficial relationship for Young and the Mets in 2012. The pitcher was able to complete his rehab and proved he could get MLB batters out. The club got much-needed innings in the middle of the season and a quality individual for the clubhouse.
Yet nothing lasts forever and it is time for the two to part ways. Mets fans should be grateful for what Young gave the club in 2012. We should hope he finds numerous clubs willing to sign him for 2013 and that he comes away with a nice fat contract. Finally, the Mets have better options right now for starting pitching and we should hope he never throws another pitch for the Mets in his career.