For Mets, Manuel prefers a starter

Don’t read too much into Jerry Manuel’s Thursday postgame comments, in which the Mets manager hinted at his desire for a dependable reliever. Manuel, all things being equal, would still prefer for his team to target starting pitching on the trade market.

“If it’s a top, top starter, I’d have to go with a starter,” he said. “I’ll worry about those tie games on the road later.”

Nearly halfway through the season, Manuel has struggled to find a reliever consistent enough to pitch the eighth inning. He has tried Ryota Igarashi, Fernando Nieve, Pedro Feliciano and Elmer Dessens, with no consistent success.

But the Mets, he said, would do better to acquire a top-flight starting pitcher, especially considering Hisanori Takahashi’s recent struggles in the rotation.

–Anthony DiComo

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