Color me optimistic, but I do not believe the sky is falling in Queens.
I heard rumors of such an event. I heard adamant insistence that such rumor was fact. So I decided to be brave, open up my door, look out into the big, bad city and take a look for myself. I looked to my left. I looked to my right. When I didn’t see casualties lying on the ground that were the result of falling objects, I took a deep breath and looked up.
Well, actually, maybe not nothing. I saw the sun. I had to squint and I sneezed a couple of times (because sudden bright sunlight has a tendency to do that to me). “Well,” I said to myself. “The sky is most certainly not falling. It actually is pretty bright out.”
Yes. The future is bright. While it may be cold outside, we’re not as far off as we may think.
This is not me preaching patience and drinking the Sandy Kool-Aid. Just because there’s a new Sharkleberry flavor coming out doesn’t mean I’m drinking it. The Mets need some more bats in their lineup. But they do have pitching. Harvey won’t be there for 2014, but we have three pretty solid starters coming back in Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese, and Dillon Gee. Wheeler got better as the season went on and while I’m not expecting him to be as dominant as Harvey was, he can be a front of the rotation guy. No one is going to confuse Niese with the second coming of Seaver – but we know what he is.
Niese is a good, productive lefty that’s a plus in your rotation. Dillon Gee continued to prove he belongs in the bigs and he’s going from being almost an afterthought and a rotation holder to a guy that if he threw with the other hand, half the teams in the majors would be banging down Sandy’s doors to try to acquire. We’d be talking about locking him up long term just like we did with Niese.
Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard are on the horizon. Mejia was pitching very well before his season was cut short with a bone spur. Even without adding another starter, we’re potentially at 6 guys deep going into spring training (although I don’t think it’s in the plan to have either Montero or Syndergaard break camp with the club in April). Lets’s even throw in dark horse Jacob deGrom into the mix as competition out of spring training. I’m telling you, the rotation is going to be okay.
I won’t go off the deep end and say that the Mets will be a playoff team in 2014. I don’t think they will be. I do think that this past season was more like 1983. They were bad. 1984 began the turnaround as the arms developed. Then the team got really good in 1986. With the rotation, I think they’ll be .500 in 2014. When Harvey returns in 2015 and we find out who from among the rest of the contenders lives up to their billing, we’ll begin to make a serious run.
So let us not panic. We have arms. And we have more coming. Now we just need some bats to go with those arms. Has it been painful to be a Mets fan the last few seasons? Yes. But that thing that landed on your head? It was just an acorn.