The Mets haven’t had a truly dominant starting pitching staff in a very long time but over the last couple of years, it looked like they were building up to something really special. With potential superstars Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom leading the bunch, the Mets starting rotation could be dominant real soon. However, the real question is, is that time now?
Right now, the Mets have six pitchers that could easily make the starting rotation so most fans, including myself, are living under the assumption that one pitcher will be moved before Spring Training. The pitcher that has been involved in the most trade talks has been Dillon Gee and he does seem like the most likely candidate to be traded.
If we take this in consideration, this would leave the Mets’ five-man rotation at Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon, Zach Wheeler, and Jon Niese. However, there are pitching prospects in the Minor League that could be called up to the team at any point. The two pitching prospects that come to mind when it comes to actually debuting are Steven Matz and, of course, Noah Syndergaard.
If we follow this assumption, the Mets are in a pretty good position. All five of their presumed starting pitchers have a lot of talent and have performed well in the past but there are a multitude of potential problems that could spring up for this band of merry men.
For example, Bartolo Colon is getting old. Now I know that every year, starting from a couple years ago, people always bring this issue up. Everybody says that his age is becoming a big issue in how effective he can be but really isn’t showing in his pitching performance. Last season, Colon posted a 15-13 record with a 4.09 ERA and a 1.226 WHIP. These aren’t stellar or fantastic stats but he had a solid season and the year before that, he was even better. But, turning 42-years-old this season, Colon could be in for some major slowdown in his production.
Besides Colon getting old, deGrom could run into some problems. Now, deGrom had an amazing rookie season and won the NL ROY for 2014 so he is poised to return to the game and dominate once again. However, just for the sake of argument, you have to question whether he could put on a repeat performance of last season. He had a wonderful 2014 but he is still kind of a question mark in terms of his production. Will he be able to fool hitters again or will hitters finally adapt and change to face him? I’m not saying that this will happen or even that this is likely but you have to keep it in consideration.
Then, of course, you have Matt Harvey.
Coming off a stellar second year of play, Matt Harvey injured his right elbow and subsequently had Tommy John surgery done on it months later. So, this leads to the question, will Matt Harvey be able to play at the same level in which we saw him last? He is a huge question mark right now but if he can succeed, the Mets are in pretty good shape. Harvey has been training and strengthening his elbow and arm for a long time now and he is very ready and eager to rejoin the club in spring training so it shows his drive is there but will his ability stick with him also?
So, what I am trying to say is, it all boils down to a couple of pretty major question marks on the team. Will Harvey be as effective as he was before the injury? Will Colon’s aging body betray him? Will deGrom have a repeat performance of his 2014 campaign or will his sophomore year be a little more difficult?
However, I do think that the Mets’ pitching staff will be dominant in 2015 because I think these questions will be answered in favor of the Mets. Harvey will bounce back quite nicely from surgery and deGrom can pitch another solid season. Colon’s a little iffy but I don’t think there will be such a dramatic change in his effectiveness from last season compared to this upcoming season.
Pitching is the selling point for the Mets right now and it is time to jump aboard the hype train.