Featured Post: The Future Of The Mets Rotation

An article by posted on August 17, 2013

harvey gee wheeler

The following post adds some perspective and a longer view to what the future may hold for the Mets starting rotation. It’s important to understand the approach that the front office takes with regards to how they determine the progression of their top pitching prospects through the Mets minor league system.

Sometimes you look at this patient and deliberate approach by our front office and wonder why aren’t these pitchers being promoted quickly enough? Aren’t the men in black watching how well these pitchers are performing? Shouldn’t Player X be in Double-A already or shouldn’t Player Y be in Triple-A?

But have you ever considered the possibility that the reason these pitchers are performing at such peak and impressive levels is for the same exact reason that frustrates you?

That all of their success may be the result of not being rushed and ensuring that we are not setting up our top prospects for failure?

I wanted to shed light on an interesting comment left by one of our readers today.

Taskmaster writes:

It is interesting to see so many who claim to know so much about baseball make comments as they are. It seems that a great deal of clarification is needed. Here is how things go down in the real world of baseball.

The Mets need innings out of their starters. People who are posting that the rotation should be Harvey, Wheeler, Montero, Mejia, and Syndergaard are missing the point. How can you set up a rotation where 4/5 of them are going to be on an innings limit? What do you do in September? Shut everyone down?

Next season Zack Wheeler will be at a Matt Harvey limit for this season of around 210 IP. Rafael Montero will be at 180 IP or so. Noah Syndergaard in the 160 inning range. And Jenrry Mejia, since he wont pitch more than 60 or 70 this season, will likely be similar. So out of those four starters you get roughly 710 innings at most. This means Harvey will have to eat up about 290 innings to save the bullpen. Not likely. Hence the Mets are in the same situation as this season where the BP is overused.

Secondly, a long term perspective needs to be taken. When a player hit free agency is something that a good front office has to plan for. People can make all the claims about extensions they want…. But a FO cannot plan on this since there is no guarantee that players will sign with them. Sure there is a pretty good chance of it, but it cannot be guaranteed. Harvey and Wheeler will hit free agency in consecutive seasons. Montero will follow the third year. Do you really think the organization wants Syndergaard to go along with Montero. There is the possibility of losing 80% of your rotation over two consecutive seasons.

Thirdly, this front office is determined to develop players. Most state something to the effect “why keep him down if he is ready”? According to who? Many of the online pitching experts proclaimed Wheeler ready out of Spring Training. He wasn’t. Now the same people want Syndergaard here after a half dozen Double-A starts. I can assure you that the difference between the AA and the majors is astronomical. A few can pull it off, but most cannot. Also, the minors start a couple weeks after the majors, so leaving Syndergaard down on the farm lessens their starts early so that his inning total will be reduced as he approaches the end of the season. You can argue all you want about the validity of innings limits; makes no difference…it is the way of the league at this point in time.

Therefore, Gee and Niese will most likely remain. The FO has indicated that Syndergaard is on the same list as Harvey…dont even ask. That leaves Mejia, Montero, and Wheeler and I will tell you that at least ONE of them is traded this Winter. I cannot tell you which one, but one of those names will appear in a trade. My guess is that Mejia, coming off injury and requiring off season surgery, has the least amount of value meaning he returns. That leaves Wheeler and Montero as the choices. The decision will most likely come down to who is of most interest to the other team and what they are offering.

Very well stated, Taskmaster….

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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