Right now as presently constituted the Mets starting rotation is fairly solid. Santana, Dickey, Pelfrey, Niese and Gee are a decent 1-5, but the question to me is, what do you do when the young guns are ready?
The Mets initially wanted to retain Capuano, but that became out of the question when he wanted a two year deal and the Mets were only willing to go one. The plan was to use him as a stop gap until the likes of Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia arrive sometime in 2012 or at the latest 2013. Zack Wheeler will be not far behind those two, but if we see him before 2013 I will be shocked.
The reason I am questioning the signing of a free agent starting pitcher is because of how close Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia really are to making the jump to the majors. What happens if we signed Capuano to a 1 year deal and Harvey or Familia are dominating Triple-A by June and are ready for the call? If we resigned him who would have not made the rotation? What happens if the young guys are ready mid-season and our rotation is full with no visible holes? Are we going to call them up and stick them in the bullpen like we did to Mejia? We all saw how great that turned out.
Both Familia and Harvey finished the year in Double-A. Jeurys pitched most of his season for Binghamton, and Harvey got the call half way through. If I had to guess I would say that Familia starts the year in Triple-A, and Harvey starts at Double-A with a potential quick call if he pitches lights out in his first few starts.
Judging by how quickly the Mets gave Davis the call only two weeks into the season two years ago, there is a chance we could see something similar this season with some of our young pitchers.
The reality is that we are probably not going to contend for a World Series this season, although you never know, this is baseball. Going off of that idea that we are rebuilding, I would want to see the young guys come up and pitch this season if they earn it. I don’t want to see Marquis or Capuano should he have re-singed. I also don’t want to see Pelfrey, Niese and Dickey taking valuable innings away if they are not part of the future.
As much as I love Niese and his potential, this almost a make or break season for him. If he does not improve with an above .500 record or at the very least an improved ERA it may be time to turn the page. Pelfrey needs to return to his 2010 form or he may buying his ticket out of here. Dickey is in his late thirties and may not factor into future plans 2-3 years from now.
The future, at least in our starting rotation is on the horizon, maybe as soon as 2012. I am ready to see what the future holds and move on from the present group who have repeatedly not gotten the job done. The question is will the Mets do that? Who should they weed out, and who is part of the solution and not the problem?
What are your thoughts?