Jeremy Hefner next in line if Santana starts year on the disabled list

Posted: March 5, 2013 in News, Opinion, Spring Training
Tags: , , , , ,

By Steven InmanimagesCADQ3WP8

When Spring Training started I made our “projecting the 25-man roster” post and so far things seem to be rounding into shape as we thought. We are now less than four weeks away from Opening Day. One change that may be coming is there is growing doubt that Johan Santana won’t start the season in Queens. All the Mets are saying on the matter is that it is still too early to know but there is heavy speculation that Santana starts the season on the disabled list.

If that happened, it appeared that Jenrry Mejia was the 6th starter who was next in line. That no longer appears to be the case and Jeremy Hefner appears to have jumped in front of Mejia for that role. Hefner will make the team out of Spring Training if Santana or another starter can’t go. Hefner, 26, went 4-7 with a 5.09 ERA in 93.2 innings for the Mets last year. The Mets really like Hefner as a swingman emergency starter and weren’t willing to give up his 40-man roster spot throughout the offseason despite their growing need for spots.

Hefner doesn’t walk anyone but doesn’t strikeout a ton of guys either. Last year when an opposing major-league hitter put the ball in play he hit .319 off Hefner compared to .266 in the minors so perhaps Hefner was a bit unlucky last year. That could also mean Hefner was giving up a lot more hard contact against major leaguers. Hefner can fill in for a few weeks if needed but obviously it isn’t ideal to lose a pitcher with Santana’s resume to start the season and it only increases the speculation of when Zack Wheeler will be called up.

  1. Mike Young says:

    Steve – This is a familiar story that seemingly appears every year with the Mets. They open every spring with a projected 25 man roster – on paper. Last year Andres Torres was supposed to lead off and provide speed and experience in the lead off spot and defense in CF. Then he got hurt either opening day or during the second game and the Mets were once again scambling because of injuries to put a competetive team on the field. I don’t even want to begin to discuss 2009. Now with Santana apparently not ready and Mejia yet to show what he was advertised as becoming we have Jeremy Heffner, a spot starter or long man at best, taking a more prominent role in the rotation whlie we “wait” for Zach Wheeler who could and proably should be on the opening day roster. The fact that he probably won’t be on the opening day roster is all about the money. Until the Mets learn the whens, wheres, hows and on who money should be spent they are going to routinly fail to be competive in the NL east. In your opinion, is this a Wilpon or Alderson issue or a combination of both?

  2. Steven Inman says:

    You know Mike you made some very good points here and I think it started as a Wilpon problem because they couldnt spend any money and had so many bad contracts on the books. (Castillo, Perez, K-Rod etc.) Now after those contracts have come off the books Sandy has been allowed to spend modertatly but he hasnt. He has been allowed to pick his spots and has chosen not to as of now. As we progress this becomes more of a Sandy problem if he chooses not to spend as Bay and Santanas contracts come off the books. Thanks for the comment Mike as always.

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