It’s nothing more than a glimpse of hope, a promise that the talk of better days ahead might just be more reality than simply talk. They have only thrown an inning here and an inning there over the Mets first ten spring training games, but collectively the young pitching prospects the Mets have compiled in Port St. Lucie are leaving Met fans shaking their heads with wonder.
To date twelve Met pitchers flash perfect 0.00 ERA’s and ten pitchers have WHIP’s of 1.00 or less. Jacob deGrom has been all about making a good first impression with the Mets. In three games he has pitched 6 innings averaging a strikeout per inning.
Since day one Zack Wheeler has indicated he would love to be the Opening Day pitcher . So far Wheeler has provided solid evidence for that argument throwing two scoreless three inning outings and matching deGrom’s strikeout average.
Noted for his pinpoint command, Rafael Montero has been spot on over his first four innings facing major league batters with a speck of a WHIP at 0.25, only slightly besting a big righthanded kid hoping to win a spot in the Met bullpen, Jeurys Familia with a WHIP of 0.33.
Then there is Steven Matz, with his rebuilt left arm, firing fastballs in the mid 90’s and looking like he’s simply having a blast on the mound. Matz has only appeared twice so far this spring, one inning each time, but the kid has already chalked up 5 strikeouts.
And, of course, the ground seems to tremble every time the ‘Thunder God’ steps on the diamond in St. Lucie. His numbers might not match those of the aforementioned but his inaugural appearances with the Mets have been a media sensation. With expectations soaring skyward, Noah Syndergaard has arrived.
This list in not all inclusive. Vic Black has nasty stuff when he gets it over the plate. Jeff Walters shows glimpses of why people in Binghamton were so excited last season when Pedro Lopez handed him the ball to close games for the B-Mets. And, Joel Carreno is acting like he would at least like to be considered as part of the Met pitching conversation.
Everyone knows spring training can be relaxed and casual. The numbers a pitcher puts in the books can be short lived, casual, almost fleeting. Experienced pitchers are not generally concerned with actual outputs, toying with their stuff by adding a new pitch or tinkering with their mechanics.
Yet, every time a pitcher is handed the ball his purpose on the mound is to get batters out without allowing runs to cross the plate. Against that standard, the Met cadre of young arms in St. Lucie has been tantalizing, an alluring blend of baseball slight-of-hand that entices this beguiled Met fan to awaken each morning with only one baseball thought on my mind, ‘What young Met arm will be handed the ball and asked to pitch today?’