Mets Beast

Mets news, crazy ideas, and gut feelings

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bannister In, Heilman Out

The Mets are going with inexperience. Brian Bannister, the 25 year-old spring training surprise is the new 5th starter. The righty is the son of former major league lefty Floyd Bannister, has been inserted into the starting rotation for the sake of bullpen help. Aaron Heilman, the 27 year-old righty who had a spectacular year in the bullpen throughout the second-half of last year, is back in the set-up spot. He was the perennial favorite to start the season in the rotation in the fifth spot. The Mets brass has other opinions. Omar Minaya feels that Heilman is the best way to get the ball to Billy Wagner. Many feel this same thing. It isn't fair to Heilman though, who is disappointed in the situation. "It is what it is. I'm certainly disappointed. ... But I'll go to the bullpen and give it my best. ... There aren't many people who can say what they want and get it."

I strongly adore his confidence in going back to this role. Heilman shows love for the Mets too. He'd rather be in the bullpen with the Mets than starting for any other team. That shows he is still confident he can one day be in the rotation that seems to age every minute of the day. Heilman has no choice but to accept his new role, but if he flourises in it, there is no doubt in my mind that he will have locked up a place on the Mets roster and starting rotation for next year. Not many expect Glavine or Trachsel to be back next year, and if someone in the rotation fails or faulters (e.g. Victor Zambrano, possibly Bannister), Heilman should be the first to fill in. It'll be tough to go from setting-up to starting again. That is the doubt in my mind. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't throw Heilman in there, since he is probably the most valued pitcher in the bullpen besides Billy Wagner.

"I'm happy to be here," he said. "We're going to have a good team this year, and I want to be a part of that." That's the sound of a team player.

If in fact Bannister or Zambrano faulter, or anyone else in the rotation is injured, we'll probably see "Lima Time!" or Jeremi Gonzalez, or possibly Yusaku Iriki. Mike Pelfrey is a longshot in that situation, but he could see the lights of Shea in September.

John Rocker calls Tom Glavine a "jackass".
Interesting. This is a good read.

OF Lastings Milledge, OF Tike Redman, C Sandy Martinez and 1B Todd Self were reassigned to minor league camp. 2B Jeff Keppinger, LHP Royce Ring and LHP Juan Perez were optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

I think Milledge will be at Shea at some point this year. There will be hype, and I'm gonna be hyped too. I'm gonna be just as hyped as when David Wright came up.

Tike Redman, who had the infamous 113 pitch at-bat against Braden Looper before the all-star break has not made the team. They seem to like the speedy, well-NL East traveled Endy Chavez. He was previously on the Expos/Nationals, and the Phillies.

Sandy Martinez is basically insurance if Paul LoDuca or Ramon Castro go down to injury.

Todd Self had no chance.

Jeff Keppinger was the other option at second base, but Willie Randolph prefers A-Hern's glove to Kepp's bat.

Royce Ring and Juan Perez failed to impress, and only Pedro Feliciano and Darren Oliver are the lefties vying for the spot. It's a tight competition between the 2 non-roster invitees.

Kaz was placed on the 15 day DL, retroactive to March, with a strained MCL. He is available to come back April 8.


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