The New York Mets remain in the NL Wild Card hunt largely because of a starting rotation that ranks fourth in ERA among National League teams. But their rotation has been decimated because of injury, and the Mets could soon be looking for a fifth starter. If it becomes a dire need, the Mets might even consider rushing one of their two best minor league pitching prospects.
Miguel Batista, who appeared in relief Friday night, is expected to get the first crack at the opening. But if he falters, the Mets could be forced to turn to young prospects who they don't feel are particularly ready.
According to the New York Post, Matt Harvey could be next in line after Batista. The Mets are hesitant to promote Harvey, the seventh overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft, because they feel the right-hander still needs work. But the 23-year-old has been impressive at Triple-A Buffalo, where he is 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 18 starts.
An intriguing option outside of Harvey is Zack Wheeler, who hasn't yet pitched a single Triple-A game. The Post notes that Wheeler, the Mets' top prospect, has a season cap of approximately 150 innings and has already pitched 92 2/3. But the 22-year-old righty has dominated his first stint in Double-A this season, compiling an 8-4 record with a 2.62 ERA in 15 starts.
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