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Does anyone want to win the Mets fifth rotation spot?

By Frank Barone-Metsmix writer

The fifth spot in the rotation is up for grabs this spring and so far none of the candidates has seized the opportunity presenting itself.

The candidates include the veterans, Freddy Garcia, Livan Hernandez, Tim Redding and the youngster Jon Niese.

Garcia won 17 games for the Chicago White Sox in 2006, but has only pitched in 14 major league games since then because of shoulder problems. He still might be working off the rust and inactivity from these past couple of years. His first two outings in spring training have not been very encouraging though.

Hernandez has the history of being a workhorse to eat up innings for his teams. His high ERA last year of 6.05 speaks for itself. Can you handle a pitcher giving up 257 hits in 180 innings of work. That is the resume Mr. Hernandez brings in the competition for a fifth starter from last year.

Last year with the Washington Nationals, Tim Redding registered career marks in starts, innings and strikeouts. His ERA though was 4.95 and he gave up 27 home runs pitching in a pitcher’s ballpark in Washington. He gets his first start of the spring on Saturday.

How about the Mets giving Jon Niese a chance, at age 22, he is the only candidate with a potential for long range improvement and an upside. He is still developing his pitches and could use some more seasoning at Buffalo in Triple A.

Should the Mets be satisfied with starts and durability to get the most successful production out of the fifth spot in the rotation?

So who will step out of this competition and win this fifth starter’s job, or will it be won by default. Maybe Jose Lima is still available for hire.

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