The candidates are: Tobi Stoner, Dillon Gee, R.A. Dickey, Pat Misch or Raul Valdes.
The case against Misch: After firing a complete game shutout on Saturday night, he would be on short rest (3 days) on Wednesday. That alone should disqualify him, but he also was lucky last year: his 4.12 ERA was over a full run better than his FIP of 5.37. That happens when you strike out only 23 and walk 19 in 59 innings of work.
The case against Stoner: He’s been ok, but nothing more at AAA this year with a 5.00 ERA in 36 innings and 21 walks against 13 strikeouts. He’s given up 43 hits and a Bisons-high five home runs. The only thing working in his favor is that he’s already on the 40-man roster.
The case against Gee:
In his last five starts, he simply has not been very good.
The case against Valdes: He pitched a season-high three innings on May 1, so starting him would nearly guarantee a short start and a long night for an already ridiculously overworked bullpen. Valdes did pitch six innings as a starter for AAA manager Ken Oberkfell in the Caribbean Series, in February, so that should be great preparation for what’s sure to be an electric atmosphere in Washington on Wednesday night. Still, Valdes has not made a start on American soil, as far as I can tell since 2007 when he was with St. Lucie. In his last extended run as a starter, with the AAA Iowa Cubs in 2006 he owned a 7.59 ERA in seven starts.
The case for Dickey: He’s been far and away the Bisons best starter this year with a 2.23 ERA in 60.2 innings over eight starts. His strikeout/walk ratio is over four (37K/8 BB). He throws a knuckleball, and that’s cool, but he’s also been an effective pitcher this year. Even if the Mets give Valdes the nod, they should call up Dickey, assuming that Niese is placed on the dl, to provide depth in the Mets ‘pen. A knuckleballer could take the ball nearly everyday to reduce other pitchers workloads. Calling up Dickey would require adding him to the 40-man roster, but the Mets have a spot on the 40-man and have not yet placed Kelvim Escobar on the 60-day DL even though he won’t pitch for them this year.