If last night's performance by New York Mets right-hander Jerad Eickhoff was any indication of the Amazin's need for starting pitching, you had better sound the alarm. We have a problem. Eickhoff was awful, giving up 10 earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. Very honestly, if you claim to be a contender, you can't put Jerad out on the mound again, unless he is throwing your team batting practice.

Unfortunately, Eickhoff says a lot about the Mets organizational pitching depth. Thankfully, Tylor Megill has come up and been a nice surprise. However, after that any real Mets pitching prospect is at least a few years away. The Mets AAA team in Syracuse is dead last in the league in pitching, sporting a whopping 6.18 ERA. ERA is meaningless some say? The Syracuse Mets are last in wins as well. How about AA Binghamton? Arms are on the way, right? Well, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies are second to last in the league in pitching. Only the Hartford Yard Goats are worse.

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Carlos Carasco is expected to make his long awaited season debut on Friday night against the Reds and that will definitely help. The 34 year old has battled injuries all year but if he can return to the rotation, that will be a major lift. Carasco will join Megill, newly acquired Rich Hill and Marcus Stroman in the rotation. Taijuan Walker has been awful since the "sticky substance" ban by Major League Baseball. Oh well, if you need it that badly to be successful then you shouldn't be in the big leagues. What about Jake deGrom? He can come off of the Injured List any day, if he is ready to. deGrom threw a bullpen session on Sunday and felt fine on Monday. Team officials are discussing a possible minor league assignment. Long and short, they don't know when he'll return.

Oh yeah, what about Noah Syndergaard? Wasn't he supposed to come back in June? If Syndergaard gets back at all this year, at this point it wouldn't be until September. As some of my good Met fan friends would say in their deepest New York City accents, "Forget about it!"

That leaves Friday's trade deadline as the most viable way for the Mets to stay in first place. They cannot afford to throw away every fifth game as they did last night. Will Washington trade Max Scherzer to the Mets? No way but maybe the Yankees. Will the Mets get Jose Berrios from the Twins? Not likely. Both the Dodgers and the Padres have more to give Minnesota in prospects. The Mets need another innings eater like Rich Hill. Tyler Anderson from the Pirates would have been perfect. The Mariners scooped him from the Phillies after Philadelphia snuck in front of the Mets for his services.

Long and short, the New York Mets will have to overpay to trade for help in order to stay in first place. However, for the first time in a few decades, they at least have the financial capital to make it happen. It should be a fun couple of days. Tune into The Drive with Charlie & Dan from 3p to 7p for all of the latest MLB trades this week.

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