While Daisuke Matsuzaka is considered the leading candidate for the New York Mets‘ fifth starter slot, he should not make the rotation. Even though he had a nice start to the spring, he finally showed his true self in today’s outing against the Detroit Tigers. In today’s 5-4 win, Matsuzaka was hammered for seven hits and four earned runs during five innings. His ERA this spring now climbs to 4.97 and his WHIP is over 1.50.
While he pitched well at the end of 2013, this should not fool the Mets into thinking he is a quality starter. Over the past five seasons, Matsuzaka has posted an awful 5.41 ERA and owns a disastrous 1.50 WHIP. This is over the course of 334 innings, so these statistics are more telling about his ability than three good starts he had last year in September.
If the Mets give a rotation spot to Matsuzaka, they are also taking away an opportunity to more deserving candidates. The most notable one is 24-year-old Jenrry Mejia, who was once the Mets’ best prospect. Even though he does not have a lot of experience, Mejia is a significantly better option. Mejia’s stuff was electric last season, and his upside is extremely high.
The Mets simply cannot count on a pitcher who has been as unreliable as Matsuzaka. While many remember him for his good seasons with the Boston Red Sox, he is not the same pitcher anymore. If the Mets are expecting him to be a quality starter, they are severely mistaken. With his performances over the past few years, he has proven that he is not a good option.