When John Maine left Friday night’s game in the fourth inning, I thought it was something pretty bad to force him out of the game. It turns out that he was having spasms in his left (non-pitching) elbow that was causing pain. He told reporters that he’s expecting to make his next scheduled start on Wednesday at Citi Field against the Dodgers.
The problem is that Maine shouldn’t be making his next start. He should be headed for the disabled list. Even if it’s a faux injury like Oliver Perez had last season, he should take some time to get himself right at Triple-A Buffalo.
Something is clearly wrong with Maine this season. If you look at the radar gun readings, he just doesn’t have the same velocity that he had in years past. Maybe it’s the bone spur surgery that he had on his shoulder. Maybe he’s injured and doesn’t want to admit it. There’s no way to tell.
In four starts this season Maine has only pitched 16.2 innings and given up 25 hits, including 4 home runs, and 10 walks. His WHIP is a ridiculous 2.10 right now. Right-handed batters are hitting .421 against him. This just can’t continue.
There’s been talk of Hisanori Takahashi taking over Maine’s spot in the rotation if he does go on the disabled list. That’s not a terrible suggestion, especially given his nice relief appearance on Friday night when Maine left the game (3 IP 1ER).
The Mets need to seriously consider three of the starters at Buffalo that are having excellent starts to their seasons: R.A. Dickey, Dillon Gee, and Pat Misch. If you check their stats at the Bisons website, you have to be impressed with what they’ve done this month. The only problem is that none of them is on the 40-man roster right now. So someone would have to go off the roster first. That’s a tough spot to be in. I would think Jason Pridie would be the logical candidate but he’s playing pretty well in Buffalo himself.
What are your thoughts on the pitcher that should take over for Maine if he can’t pitch on Wednesday? Comment below.