The Mets went into the season with no starting pitching depth. After Chris Schwinden's latest outing, the Mets' inability to spend any money on rotation depth has come back to haunt them.
Schwinden has now given up five earned runs with two homers in four innings in both of his starts. His ERA is 11.25. Even if you give him a pass for his first start being at Coors, you want to see a lot more against the Astros.
But Schwinden is only in there by default. If he gets pulled from the rotation, the other candidates appear to be Jeremy Hefner, claimed by the Mets after being waived by the lowly Pirates, and 41-year-od Miguel Batista, who has already bombed in a spot start this year, giving up six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Giants.
The Mets got an unlucky break when Mike Pelfrey went down for the season, but it's not as if they could expect that the entire rotation could stay healthy all year. Not when Johan Santana is returning from a serious injury, R.A. Dickey is 37 years old and Jon Niese has been on the disabled list each of the last three seasons. Ironically, Pelfrey was the pitcher who never got hurt - until now.
Technically, the Mets do have a backup plan for the rotation - Chris Young, who is recovering from his own serious injury. Young went down for the year after just four starts last season. His last full season was in 2007. Young is rehabbing in the minors, but wouldn't you know it, he just suffered a setback.
At least there's no talk so far of rushing Matt Harvey or any of the other pitching prospects to the majors to fill the hole in the rotation. Let's hope that doesn't change. Not having rotation depth could be writing off this season - no need to risk the future as well.