Friday, February 02, 2007

The Next John Maine

Before the start of the 2006 season, the Mets traded Kris Benson for relief pitcher Jorge Julio and starter John Maine. At the time of the trade, no one really knew who John Maine really was and the future role he would have on the Mets 2006 season. Before the 2006 season John Maine was a nobody, having only pitched in 11 major league games. As the season wore on Maine eventually got the chance to show himself. Maine continued to pitch well and eventually earned a spot in the starting rotation in the playoffs. John Maine was the unknown who was the Hero in the last year’s season. These are my potential candidates to be the next John Maine.

Alay Soler is a 27 year-old from Nancy Uranga, Cuba. Soler debuted on May 24, 2006 and started 8 games for the Mets. Soler has show success but inconsistency. On June 10th, Soler started against the Diamondbacks. On that day, Soler pitched a complete game 2 hit shutout. In 3 starts spanning from June 5th to June 16th Soler gave up only 2 earned runs. Though, Soler did face control problems throughout the game season. In 5 of his 8 games pitched, Soler walked 3 or more hitters. In 3 of Soler’s 8 games he gave up 7 or more earned runs. I believe Soler has the chance to be the next John Maine because of his previous experience. Before coming to the Majors Soler pitched in Cuba for many years. His experience could create opportunities like it did last year. Hopefully his control has improved.

24 year old Jason Vargas has potential to have a solid chance this season. Vargas has pitched in 29 major league games after debuting on July 14, 2005. Vargas has a chance to become a solid lefty which is hard to come by in the Majors. Honestly, I do not know that much about Vargas which is why he is so much like Maine. Before the 2006 season I only knew Maine’s basic bio. The final reason is both Maine and Vargas arrived via trade which links them together.

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