Less than two weeks before Opening Day, and the Mets are no closer to finding an eighth-inning pitcher than they were when spring training began back in mid-February. And here's the problem: The most intriguing candidate -- Jenrry Mejia - is not even being considered because Jerry Manuel insists on protecting him if he does make the Opening Day roster (which he will).

Mejia looked decent yesterday, Bobby Parnell was uninspiring and Ryota Igarashi was a mess as he tried to tinker with his delivery, hoping for more sink on his forkball. But we'll get another look at all of them today as they work on back-to-back days for the first time this spring in what should be a critical test.

As for Mike Pelfrey, the box score said he served up four homers yesterday at Viera. But everyone can take two steps back from the ledge. Three were windblown in a big way. The fourth was a blast off a light pole. Pelfrey has shown improvement this spring -- there's no question about that. I thought Oliver Perez, who starts today, would be the surprise of the season this year but I'm switching over to Pelfrey.

 

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