The New York Mets have a little battle brewing for the fifth spot in the rotation. As it stands right now, it is between two veteran pitchers, John Lannan and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Both were in action today as the Mets took on the St. Louis Cardinals in Grapefruit League action. Matsuzaka started the game and Lannan came in as a reliever.
Matsuzaka went two innings, giving up two runs on six hits. The one bright spot for him this outing was that he also struck out three. This was his second start of the spring, and he went two innings in each outing. Matsuzaka played with the Mets last season, going 3-3 with an ERA of 4.42.
Lannan also pitched two innings. He gave up two runs, but only allowed three hits. He was much better his first outing, giving up just one hit while striking out three. Lannan pitched last season with the Philadelphia Phillies, making 14 starts and compiling a record of 3-6 with an ERA of 5.33.
In the early going, it looked as if the spot in the rotation was Lannan’s to lose. With both of them struggling today, the race might have just gotten a bit closer.
The spot in the rotation wouldn’t have been an issue if it weren’t for the health of Matt Harvey, who still wishes to pitch in 2014 after recovering from Tommy John surgery. It will be interesting to see if Harvey does work himself back to pitch this season. The Mets will have to evaluate where they are in the standings and if it is worth it to have him back or not.