Mike Pelfrey Never Looked So Good

Mets get swept out of Houston thanks to Chris Schwinden

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Schwinden has done more for Pelfrey's legacy than Pelfrey could do by himself.

    You don't know what you got 'til it's gone.

    Never have the words felt more prophetic than they do right now. The loss of Mike Pelfrey has forced Mets fans to reevaluate a player that has never been much appreciated during his time on the mound.

    That's hardly an unfair assessment by those who have watched Big Pelf labor his way through way too many ugly starts while spreading too few good outings into the mix over the course of his career. Now that he's gone, though, Pelfrey's brand of mediocrity suddenly looks better than an ice cream sundae on a hot summer day.

    Chris Schwinden got lit up in Houston on Wednesday, the second straight time that he's served as a glorified batting practice pitcher. Schwinden was gone after allowing five runs in four innings and the Mets couldn't do a thing against Wandy Rodriguez in what turned into an 8-1 loss.

    That made it a clean sweep for the Astros, winners of eight games coming into the series, and it laid bare the depressing truth about one-fifth of the Mets rotation for the rest of the season. Schwinden might not be the guy taking the starts every time, but there's very little reason to think things are getting better any time soon.

    Miguel Batista's best days weren't that good and they are long gone. Chris Young is making his way back from another shoulder surgery and his timetable was just pushed back to sometime in June, although one should assume that sticks at their own peril given the fact that Young has managed just eight starts over the last two seasons.

    While we understand the Mets' reluctance to rush Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia or Zack Wheeler to the big leagues in a season that probably isn't going to be worth accelerating their trajectory, it's harder to stomach their inability to find a little more depth that could help the team right now. The depth problem was blindingly obvious coming into the season, but the Mets ignored it and now they are paying the price.

    Failing to make a move, especially if/when presumed next man up Jeremy Hefner proves to be overmatched in the role as well, will do more than make it hard for the Mets to win every fifth day. It sends a message that the Mets are content with punting on the season because they're punting on one of the most important roster spots.

    That's not exactly an Earth-shaking revelation, but it is one that's rarely put in such stark terms by teams so early in a season that hasn't gone all that badly. Watching Schwinden on Wednesday made it hard to draw another conclusion about the Mets' mindset and watching him get another chance would make it impossible.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.