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jump on the bannister

Following the 2005 season, the Metropolitans had seven quality major league starters (six if you are familiar with Victor Zambrano and Kazuhisa Ishii). They had Pedro, Glavine, Trachsel, Benson, Seo, Heilman, Zambrano and Ishii and starters with strong minor league showings behind them in Brian Bannister and Yusmeiro Petit.
Fast forward to Spring Training 2006. Petit is wearing the black and teal, Kris is in Baltimore and Jae Seo in Chavez Ravine after pitching for Team Korea.
These players were dealt away, along with the Hammer, Mike Jacobs and Grant Psomas in separate deals that netted Carlos Delgado, Steve Schmoll, John Maine, Armandito Benitez and Duaner "Goggles" Sanchez. Ishii has returned to where he should be, pitching for Japan's Yakult Swallows. The Mets are now left with a rotation of considerably less acclaim and a bullpen filled with strong and unproven arms. The rotation is still headed by P-Mart, of many injuries and ailments. Glavine slots in as the forty year-old #2, one who had a .330 BAA last ear. Trach will be the #3 starter, and, after spending much time on the DL last year, he resumed play with one terrific start and several mediocre ones followed. Trachsel has also not been solid in spring training. Victor Zambrano, the #4 starter, holds the position of wild card in the rotation. He has looked, to use scientific terminology, sick nasty during this spring, and I don't think it's unrealistic to think that he could continue this success during the season. He had a stretch of strong starts last year, although all of that was overridden by that game at Shea against the Brewers (which also made me think I needed to explain to Willie how one should manage a bullpen: one eleventh inning walk-off walk by Piazza where Loop and Hernandez threw two innings, next two games consisted entirely of bullpen blow-ups) where he was absolutely shelled in the first inning. The fifth starter is the only position in question. It could be filled capably by Aaron Heilman or Brian Bannister. Heilman has been an utter disappointment as a starter, while Bannister shot through the Mets' farm system last year. Heilman was lights-out as a reliever for the Mets last year, and, without a doubt, he should stay there.
The bullpen shapes up much better with the young Sanchez pitching the seventh, Heilman the eighth and Wags the ninth. Bradford, Julio and Royce Darren Pedro Ring Oliver Feliciano can then work situational duty and a Yusaku Iriki or a Heath Bell would fit in there somewhere.
With Heilman in the rotation and Bannister in AAA, the Mets not only waste a valuable starter; they waste a valuable reliever with a devastating change-up.
Brian will show up and pull what Dontrelle Willis did in 2003. Let the B-Train get rolling.

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