Let’s all give Daisuke Matsuzaka a shot

Dice-KWhile many of us Mets fans were clamoring for Jenrry Mejia to be the Mets fifth starter, it just doesn’t seem it’s going to happen.

For whatever reason the Mets have, they are going to ether send Mejia to the bullpen (although Sandy Alderson is refuting that notion) or the minors where he can get regular work. Not to mention, he has a nagging bunion at the moment. So, now the final spot of the rotation will either go to Daisuke Matsuzaka or John Lannan. From all indications the job will be Matsuzaka’s. The Mets are set to pay the $100,000 retention bonus to Matsuzaka to keep the right to have him open the season on the major-league roster.

So while we might want Mejia to have the job, Matsuzaka has done a fine job in his own right this spring in cementing the spot.  Thus far this spring Matsuzaka has 3.86 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 17 strikeouts to just four walks in 18 2/3 innings.

Matsuzaka likely sewed up the spot by throwing six innings and allowing just one earned run on three hits and three walks while also striking out five batters in the Mets 5-3 win over the Cardinals on Monday.

After some bumps along the road when the Mets initially signed him last summer, Matsuzaka eventually would settle down and be a boon to the Mets rotation. He ended the season going 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA in his last four starts. Hence the reason why the Mets were so interested in bringing him back this year.

As they proverbially say, “you can never have enough pitching.”

With the way he ended last season and with the investment the Mets put in him, Matsuzaka deserved to get a long, hard look this spring and so far he looks like he is up to the task. Sure, he is not the pitcher he once was when he was a staple in Boston’s rotation, but it looks like after recovering from Tommy John surgery three years ago, Matsuzaka is finally getting back into the groove of things.

So as fans, we should harness all of our energy and support Matsuzaka, now that Mejia is probably not the guy. It’s not like Matsuzaka is chopped liver.

For a team with eyes on competing this year, the thought of making Matsuzaka a part of the rotation makes sense. Matsuzaka has been through the media grinders in Boston and now New York and he is well equipped to handle expectations. Maybe he will crash and burn, but if Matsuzaka fails, well, the Mets certainly have the pitching depth to absorb any potential hit they might endure if Matsuzaka flops. If he does well and the team struggles, then the Mets can dangle Matsuzaka at the deadline.

With a stable crop of young pitchers in the minors (Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Jacob deGrom, etc.) and Matt Harvey rehabbing, Matsuzaka being a part of the Mets’ rotation is just a stop-gap option at the moment.

For the time being, let’s all get behind Matsuzaka and hope he pitches well, because if he does then the Mets will be better off for it.

8 comments for “Let’s all give Daisuke Matsuzaka a shot

  1. Patrick Albanesius
    March 28, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Like you said, he could pitch well and get traded when the young studs are ready. Or he could stink and open up the door for the young studs a little early. Neither is terrible. On a side note, my girl cat does the same hip shake thing Dice-K does when she’s about to pounce on her brother. It’s cute when she does it. Dice-K, not so much.

  2. amazin
    March 28, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Oh boy. The season is about to begin. Fans always want their kids to get a shot but Dice K looks good. Maybe when Syndergard or Montero comes up if he’s pitching well he can be traded for a shortstop or a hard throwing young pitcher. I bet that’s the plan.

    • Legandivori
      March 29, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Probably trades will come pretty soon if Mejia has to get foot surgery, or if Neice’s arm has problems, or if The relief pitching, particularly Parnell stinks up the joint. .

  3. Metsense
    March 28, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Many Met decisions are based on finances. By keeping Matsuzaka and sending Mejia down after his first start then Mejia will stop accumulating service time and won’t get called up until he goes past Super 2 status( in about a month, I think). This will make Mejia more appealing in the future. Montero is also ready to start in 2014 but they will also hold him back for at least a month (for another year of team control) or possibly to July in order to avoid Super 2 status. Syndergaard is also not going to come up before the Super 2 date. If the Mets really believed that they were a playoff possibe 90 win team, they would be coming out of the gate full bore. I don’t believe they are a playoff team yet and they realize it too as they apparently are not going to upgrade their weaknesses. Therefore it is a wise and prudent move to start Matsuzaka but I hate going into battle without the best players.

  4. Name
    March 28, 2014 at 11:12 am

    A) He bores people to death.
    B) He’s a nibbler, and therefore has high pitch counts and struggles to get past 5 innings, thus taxes the bullpen
    C) “Don’t believe in what you see in March or September”

    • George
      March 28, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      Wow you nailed it! All points true. Especially C.

  5. tommyb
    March 28, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    I’d prefer Mejia, but if Super 2 factor only delays him by a month…Cabrera contract is only the latest, most egregious example of MLB salaries gone insane. Dice K circa 2014, by the way, is Cy Young Incarnate compared to last year’s stiff, Sean Marcum.

    Thankfully, with Dice, Mejia, Thor, Montero, and deGrom, the 4-19 record with a 5 ERA in 226 innings collectively of Marcum, Hefner, McHugh and Laffey should be a distant memory. That group is a prime example to the Wilpons that going cheap can kill you.

  6. Herb
    March 29, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Well, the dust has settled, and Jenrry is on his way to Citi while Dice-K boards the plane to Las Vegas. Matsuzaka was very sharp today, and Mejia, while he too looked good yesterday, took a shot on the forearm and was removed from the game. I think the vast majority of Mets fans wanted Jenrry to get the job, and an equally large majority was sure it would go to Dice-K. I wonder if this decision will silence, or at least quiet, the nay sayers and doubters who take a swipe at Collins and Alderson at every opportunity.

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