Monday, December 27, 2010

Tobi Stoner: The Forgotten Arm

By: Clayton Collier

     RHP Tobi Stoner could be the key the Mets need to fill the gaping hole that is their bullpen. Stoner has had very little major league experience but in his few outings he has held his own. With uncertainty on multiple fronts of the Mets pitching staff, Stoner should be taken into consideration to help bridge the gap from the starter to K-Rod.

   Stoner was a 16th round draft pick by the Mets in 2006 and has spent most of his professional career as a starter. In Stoner's minor league career he is 33-42 with a 4.04 ERA. In 2009, Stoner was 7-7 with a 3.96 ERA with Double-A Binghampton and Triple-A Buffalo. In 2010, Stoner's first full year with Triple-A Buffalo, he struggled at best. He went 5-10 with a 5.97 ERA. Although the 25-year old Germany native has not exactly been dominant in the minors, the small sample we have seen from him in the majors should give him the chance to pitch for a spot with the big club.

   If Stoner has a particularly good spring training he should even be considered for the currently vacant 5th rotation spot. This is granted that the Mets do not acquire a Chris Young, Jeff Francis or a Tom Gorzelanny, which more than likely will happen. But, Stoner is an option to consider if the Mets have a need for starting pitching. Out of the 111 games Stoner has played in the minors, all but one of them he has played as a starter.

   If given the chance, Tobi Stoner could become a solid long reliever/6th starter the Mets are lacking since the departure of Hisanori Takahashi. Although his lack of experience, Stoner could very well produce some consistency that is heavily lacking on the New York Mets staff.

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