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John Maine, a good fit for the 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates Rotation?

The New York Mets may have helped Neal Huntington fulfill one of his off-season priorities, upgrading the starting rotation.

The Mets have non-tendered 29 year old power pitching right-hander John Maine.

On July 23, 2010 Maine underwent surgery to repair a tear  in the capsule of his pitching shoulder. In each of the last three seasons he has went on the disabled listed with some type of injury to that shoulder, making him expendable for the Mets.

Maine He was 18-17 with a 4.55 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP over the course of those three season. Compare that to 21-15 with a 3.81 era in his first two seasons with the Mets and you  see that the injuries, which have reduced the velocity of his fastball from the high 90's to low 90's at best, have had a significant impact on his performance.

The shoulder problems are not the only concern the Pirates would have with him, PNC Park may not be a good fit (Maine is 1-1 2.81 ERA lifetime @ PNC). Maine works from behind, walks too many hitters, and is a flyball pitcher.

You may be asking, why should the Pirates consider him? For starters, the Pirates need help. This is a staff which had the worst team ERA (5.00) in baseball last season, and two of their better starters are gone. They traded Zack Duke to the Diamondbacks and non-tendered Brian Burris.

Sill, what can Maine offer the Pirates?

He should come fairly inexpensive, his salary was $3.3 million last year and he reasonable should expect something far less this season. Reports are he is progressing well and should be ready by spring training. If by ready, they mean regaining his 2007 form when he was 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA, I beleive he would be a nice addition to a dismantled rotation.




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