The field for the open slots in the Mets starting rotation got a little bit thinner last week when it was revealed that Dave Williams, expected to contend for a spot on the back end of the rotation, had surgery on a herniated in his neck. Williams’ agent, David Pepe, said yesterday that the left hander could require up to three months of rehab before he could participate in a game. That would bring him into early to mid May before he could join the rotation.
At that point of the season Williams will probably be sent to triple A unless the timing of his return coincides with another starter getting injured. This kind of scenario would be similar to last season when Brian Bannister got injured early in the year. Bannister’s injury opened the door for uninjured players Jose Lima or John Maine. A similar injury or poor early season performance by a back end starter will open the door for Williams or any of a half dozen other starters vying for a rotation spot in spring training to earn a chance to grab that spot. One thing is for sure. The back end of the rotation in wide open and it will be very interesting to see how competition develops in the spring and the early part of the regular season.