El Duque isn’t going to the Bullpen

El Duque told reporters this week that he isn’t willing to pitch in relief. He says that he signed with the Mets to be a starting pitcher. The NY Post has a recap of his comments.

My opinion is that El Duque isn’t in a position to demand anything. He pitched very well when he was healthy last year. But he isn’t healthy enough to make demands on the Mets about his role with the team.

Competition is a good thing for the Mets. El Duque and Mike Pelfrey should be fighting for the fifth spot in the rotation. There are no free rides for El Duque or anyone else.

Game 2 Wrap Up- Mets win 4-1 (Record: 2-0)

We’re 2-0 and El Duque proved me wrong for one start, we’ll see if he can do that 30 more times this year. If so, we’ll be in great shape. Schoenweiss wasn’t impressive in his 2/3 of an inning. I hope he can start earning his 3 year contract. Who had the most hits tonight? Duque, of course, he was 2 for 3 with 2 RBI’s and a nice double down the line. Maybe we’ll see him pinch hitting at some point this season.

The guys in the booth seemed to be impressed with Kip Wells, but I just don’t see it. He doesn’t have great velocity, and his breaking balls don’t have that much movement. He’s only got a one year contract so he needs to pitch better than he did tonight if he wants a multi-year deal.

Alou and Green were 0-8 with 11 LOB combined. How soon can we start calling for Milledge to play right field? Soon!

4-1 final score.

Game 2 Preview- Cards (away) 8:10pm

Current record: 1-0 Hernandez vs. Wells

In case you haven’t guessed from my other posts, El Duque is the biggest question mark in my mind for the starting rotation. And that’s saying something with three somewhat unproven starters behind him. I am concerned about his health. Hey, he is 71 years old. Beyond that I’m more concerned about him being ineffective.

I’ll never understand Omar giving him a two year contract. Why couldn’t we give him one year? A lot of pundits, including Bud Selig (listen to his 3/30/07 WFAN interview), have implied there were concerns about the Royals giving Gil Meche a $55M contract. I think that was a better contract than giving Duque two years and $12M. Realistically, how many options could he have had after last year? I can’t imagine anyone else was offering him more than one year. I would have paid him enough to make sure I got him for one year, but no way do I want to be locked into two years with him.

Duque was 11-11 with a 4.66 ERA in 29 starts combined with the Mets and D-Backs last year. He only pitched 162+ innings. That’s just not good enough to get a multi-year contract from a team with a $100M payroll. I could see the Pirates or Mariners offering him a multi-year deal, but not the Mets. They could have used the money to go after Lilly, Meche, or another .500 pitcher that doesn’t have so many miles on him.

Tonight’s opposing pitcher for the Cards isn’t very good either. Kip Wells was 2-5 with a 6.50 ERA last year combined with Pittsburgh and Texas. He only made 9 starts and pitched 44+ innings. His lifetime total is 57-74 with a 4.46 ERA. I know he’s played on some bad teams in Pittsburgh, but I always thought he was more of the problem there than the solution.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on Wells as the Cards reclamation project for Dave Duncan. He’s a good pitching coach and might be able to do something with Wells. We all know that the Mets/Rick Peterson have more than their fair share of reclamation projects.

Hopefully, the Mets will ruin the Cards ring ceremony tonight just like they did the World Series flag raising on Sunday night. Enjoy the game…